Nigerian IP Newsletter & Update
January / February 2007
The Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (‘ACC’) in Nigeria, an initiative to encourage brand owners, enforcement agencies and interested parties to cooperate in the fight against counterfeiting, infringement and piracy is gaining ground.
The ACC has attendees from all sectors of the economy and is pleased to have the support of the renowned National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (‘NAFDAC’), as well as the Nigerian Copyright Commission.
Meetings are held monthly and joint initiatives are discussed, experiences and information shared. The sharing of information between brand owners, enforcement agencies and attorneys is critical to achieving ongoing success. Public education and awareness of the harmful effects of counterfeit goods is a priority in Nigeria and the ACC will be focusing on this aspect in its efforts.
The ACC is the first anti-counterfeiting group in Africa invited to join the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (‘GACG’) as a member. The GACG has members representing the United Kingdom, France, Italy, India, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ukraine, USA, China, Hong Kong, Russia/FSU, Portugal and Norway.
The ACC is intent on bringing international attention to the protection of intellectual property rights in Africa.
ALUKO & OYEBODE IP WATCHING SERVICE
Aluko & Oyebode’s Intellectual Property Department has a complimentary watching service for its clients. The watching service entails the monitoring of trade mark registrations, trade press and the local markets for infringing and counterfeit goods. The service is offered free of charge and reports made to clients when it is believed that their intellectual property rights are under threat in Nigeria.
Aluko & Oyebode is committed to intellectual property protection and all brand owners are welcome to submit details of their intellectual property and contact details in order to be notified under the watching service.
NAFDAC continues with its consistent focused efforts to ensure that Nigerians are kept safe from the harmful effects of fake and inferior products. NAFDAC has a zero tolerance policy on the importation of fake and counterfeit drugs.
During January 2007, NAFDAC seized and impounded fake sub-standard drugs valued at over N8.million (approximately US $70 000) from a home in Ikeja, Lagos. The fake drugs were deceptively labeled as having been manufactured/imported in India and Europe. The fake drugs were actually imported from China through illegal routes. The home owner was arrested and taken into custody.
IP LAW REFORM UPDATE
Slow progress has been made in the promulgation and passing into law of the updated intellectual property bills. With elections scheduled for April 2007, the focus in Nigeria has been on the political arena and we do not expect any developments until after the inauguration of the new President and the election of his government during May 2007.
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