How to Protect Your Intellectual Property in Nigeria
Nigeria is one of the most thriving countries in Africa. However, there are certain laws that can restrict your ability to protect intellectual property such as patents, trademarks and copyrights (IP). This blog post will provide some information on what you can do to protect your IP rights as a company or an individual.
Blog Post Intro Paragraph: When it comes to Nigeria's economy, many people think of oil first; however, the country has a rich heritage and culture with vibrant arts and crafts (Nigerian Crafts). Unfortunately, these cultural artifacts face extinction since they are not given proper protection. In this blog post we'll discuss how you can help promote Nigerian crafts by protecting them through copyright registrations under Nigerian Copyright Commission Act 2003.
What is Intellectual Property?
Who can register Intellectual Property?
What are the legal requirements for registration?
How is Intellectual Property protected?
Protecting Intellectual Property Rights as an Individual
Owning a business or a company requires you to protect IP. Therefore, you must protect IP to operate successfully. IP is how you make money. Intellectual property rights protect your creative works and the information that you’ve learned to create those works. For example, you wouldn’t run a shoe factory without patenting your designs.
Doing so is a significant part of protecting your intellectual property rights. The number one way to protect your IP is by registering your IP. Registered IP enables you to profit from the creative works you have created.
Why is it important to protect intellectual property rights in Nigeria?
IP rights enable you to protect the life work of others.
Think of the thrill of the video game you played as a kid. Or the passion you feel when making a movie. The idea of ideas, art and creativity is what drives us all. It is up to each and every one of us to ensure these ideas are protected. It is important to consider what could happen if someone were to try to steal or replicate your product or idea. For example, let's say you create a smart phone. The patent for your phone can potentially be sold to a tech company and then implemented onto millions of other smartphones around the world. Even if your phone doesn't get sold, it still brings you revenue from the sales of your own phones.
What are the different types of Intellectual Property?
There are different types of intellectual property; these are patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs.
Patents : This is a special type of intellectual property, which is granted to an inventor and can be granted as long as the invention in question is useful. The grant of this intellectual property is subject to fees and payment of damages to the patent holder.
: This is a special type of intellectual property, which is granted to an inventor and can be granted as long as the invention in question is useful. The grant of this intellectual property is subject to fees and payment of damages to the patent holder.
How do I register for copyright protection in Nigeria?
By registering your IP in Nigeria you're assisting Nigerian artists to make a living and also promoting African culture. You can register your IP in the following ways:
• Publication of text in newspaper or in periodical
• Written documents (literary work)
• Digital files
• Computer programs
• Video files
What does it cost to register for copyright protection in Nigeria?
It's free! All you have to do is obtain the registration form online or through your professional attorney and you're good to go. However, if you are planning to write a book or make a publication that's not for sale, you will have to pay registration fee. Registration fee for book is N1500 while for publication it's N1000.
I've heard that registering your IP in Nigeria can take up to 2-3 weeks.
You'll probably also discover that if you're developing a product, there are certain laws in Nigeria that could actually affect your plans to market it. Understanding these laws helps you avoid them and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to business.
The same rules apply to individuals in Nigeria as to companies. If you're entering the Nigerian market, you need to protect your intellectual property such as your designs, trademarks and copyrights (IP). Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to protect your IP rights in Nigeria:
Check to see if you have any patents pending in Nigeria. If you do, you need to register them with the National Agency for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Check with your local copyright office to see if you have any copyright registered on your work.