Africa Update 2020 – Nigeria

INTA Workshop Promotes Further Positive Changes at the Registry

Following last year’s release of the first-ever compendium of trade mark opposition rulings by the Registry, a workshop with senior trade mark officials was held in Abuja, in collaboration with INTA.

Simon Brown (partner) and Kelly Thompson (partner), together with local lawyers and a team from our Associate Office, provided training sessions to expand the knowledge of senior officials on trade mark prosecution and opposition issues, particularly focusing on international best practice.

One of the focal points of the workshop, which was held in April 2019, was to work towards changes in respect to the operational challenges faced by the Registry.

The trip also included visits to our Associate Offices in Abuja and Lagos.

WIPO Spec Drafting Workshop

Invited by WIPO, Johnny Fiandeiro, Adams & Adams partner, travelled to Lagos, in May 2019, to provide patent specification drafting training to members of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment under which the Registry falls.

The workshop was arranged by WIPO but largely run by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. There were around 20 participants, mainly from universities and private practice from all parts of Nigeria. With little spec drafting experience, the participants were engaged, enthusiastic, and eager to learn.

KEY OPPORTUNITIES & CONCERNS

Opportunities

  • Oil reserves and advanced oil industry infrastructure will earn significant revenue for years to come
  • Africa’s most populated country offers a large domestic market with a large educated and affluent consumer base
  • A motivated local talent and entrepreneur class exists to exploit the country’s trade links and diversify the economy from oil dependency

Concerns

  • Boko Haram brutal terrorist activities continue to destabilise parts of the country
  • Government corruption is a significant drain on the country’s resources and will take years of dedicated effort to alleviate
  • The oil-based economy is not sustainable and has led to unpredictable levels of government revenue

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