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Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights And Protection In Nigeria

• The Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry – established pursuant to the Trade Marks Act and the Patents and Designs Act, under the Federal Ministry of Commerce to regulate the filing of trademarks, industrial designs as well as grant of patents in Nigeria;

• National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (“NOTAP”) – established under the NOTAP Act (Cap. N62, LFN 2004) to register technical service agreements, technology transfers and know-how agreements between Nigerian and non-Nigerian parties.

Several other private (non-governmental) initiatives have also been formed to support the above government agencies in the facilitation and enhancement of IP rights, such as the following:

• Intellectual Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria (IPLAN);
• The Nigerian local Chapter of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI);

• Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration (ACC) of Nigeria;

• The Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN);

• Copyrights’ Collecting Societies – associations of copyright owners established pursuant to and licensed under the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2007 with the principal objectives of negotiation and granting of licenses, collecting and distributing of royalties in respect of copyright works; and the

• Federation of Intellectual Property Owners (FIPO).


Despite the various efforts made at strengthening IP rights and protection in Nigeria, challenges remain. Common infringements take the form of piracy, counterfeiting, unauthorized/unlicensed use and unfair competition. These activities violate the proprietary rights of IP owners to reap the benefits of their inventions and hence, hamper the growth and development of intellectualism, innovation and the entire creative industry.

Infringement of IP rights also has negative implications on the overall economy as it obstructs genuine investments by both domestic and foreign investors, hinders job creation and causes loss of tax revenues to the government. Socially, widespread IP violations corrupt the cultural values and batter the national image of a country.

Copyright violation is one of the major challenges to IP rights and development in Nigeria. This cankerworm manifests more virulently in the following industries: book publishing (book piracy), information and communications technology – ICT – (internet & software piracy) and in film and entertainment (musical & cinematography disc piracy). A 2012 study undertaken by some industry analysts revealed that “Nigeria is ranked among countries where piracy is most prevalent with rates as high as 82%, 83%, 83%, 82% and 83% respectively in the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.