The Industrial Property Commission (IPCOM) bill. has recently passed its second reading in the Nigerian Parliament . The bill has now been committed to the House Committee on Commerce for further review and public hearing. Once the House Committee refers the bill back to Parliament , it will undergo a final reading, which if successful, will be passed into law.
This is a major development as it brings Nigeria one step closer to IP legislation that is in line with modern IP law standards and practices. The bill establishes timelines for the completion of registration of intellectual property rights, better recognition of well-known trademarks among other provisions.
The latest statistics from the IP Registries show that there has been an increase in Patent applications filed in Nigeria in 2017 than in the last three years during the same period (January to June). The Latest IP statistics from the Nigerian Registry for 1 January - 30 June 2017 are as follows:
9,885 Trade Marks applications
900 Patents applications
129 Designs applications
New Trade Mark Examiners
4 new trade mark examiners were appointed by the Chief Registrar in July 2017, bringing the total number up to 7.
New IP Journal Published
The Nigerian Commercial law department has given the trademarks registry till the end of first quarter of 2018 to publish all pending trademark applications in the country. In line with these instructions, the registry recently published a new trade mark journal with trade marks filed through the IPAS system.
Nigeria Ratifies International Copyright Treaties
The Nigerian President recently ratified various international treaties dealing with intellectual property. The treaties that should soon form part of Nigerian law are as follows:
The Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise, print disabled;
The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty;
The Beijing Treaty on Audio Visual Performances.
Plans to set up Anti-piracy Unit
It is estimated that the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) loses well over 20 million US dollars to piracy annually. Towards addressing this problem the Nigeria Police have announced their plan to set up anti-piracy unit in all the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory to combat copyright Piracy the country.
The announcement was made as a result of a request by the Minister of Information and Culture and creative industry stakeholders who recently paid a visit to the Inspector General of Police office in Abuja.
Ease of doing business in Nigeria
Nigeria has established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and approved a 60-day national action plan with the aim of improving the way in which business in the country is conducted.
The plan will be implemented across three priority areas:
Entry and Exit of goods;
Entry and Exit of people; and
Government Transparency and Procurement.
The national action plan will be implemented within 60 days in order to deliver tangible changes for Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.
The action plan will also help improve Nigeria’s rankings in the World Bank Doing Business Index 2018, increase patronage for locally manufactured goods and remove all bureaucratic bottlenecks that had stifled growth of businesses in Nigeria.
For more information on the above updates please email Rouse Africa