IP for Nigeria
“We are Nigerians not because we are born in Nigeria, but because Nigeria is born in us. Look around you and behold us in our greatness. Greatness is an
Nigerian possibility; you can make it yours. ”
– Chester Higgins Jr.
“I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in the efforts to solve problems of this continent. I dream of our vast
deserts, of our forests, of all our great wilderness.”
– Nelson Mandela
The continent of Africa, consisting of 54 member countries of the African Union, holds
great opportunities harnessed in the diversity of African culture and creativity.
Devising a workable IP protection strategy in Africa can be daunting in an environment where each country has its own laws and policies and are in different stages of development, coupled with International and regional arrangements covering some but not all countries in Africa.
In developing an Africa IP protection strategy, local laws and regional trade routes and cross-border flow of goods need to be considered together. Whilst the application of law is determined by borders, the flow of goods into neighbouring territories, following historic regional trade routes entrenched by centuries of cross border trade is not confined to these political borders.
We approach IP protection and enforcement measures in Africa from a regional perspective, working with local specialists, considering historic and cultural trade routes and the flow of goods and services driven by market demands in neighbouring territories.
A strong area of focus is capacity building and development of mechanisms for the legal enforcement of IP rights in the African territories. Our approach of knowledge-sharing and skills development is key in taking strategies and workable solutions from one territory to another, allowing us to offer creative and alternative approaches to legal IP enforcement in Africa.
Symbol of democracy and unity
The Siamese crocodiles share one stomach, yet they fight over food. This popular symbol is a remind that infighting and tribalism is harmful to all who engage in it.
International & Regional Protection and
In advising on IP protection and enforcement strategies, we consider. regional registration systems and application of International treaties and protection measures, to ensure your make the most of your Africa IP protection and enforceability strategy.
Africa has two regional arrangements relevant to IP protection:
MADRID SYSTEM, PARIS CONVENTION, PCT, BERNE CONVENTION
Advice and recommendations on application and enforceability of rights based on Regional and International arrangements and agreements, which differ from country to country.
National Protection and Enforcement
Each country in Africa has its own national IP registration and
enforcement mechanisms, where IP rights holders can register their
rights in each territory. (This excludes countries belonging to the OAPI
regional registration system, where registration is required under the
We provide services in IP filing strategies, enforcement,
commercialisation and portfolio management throughout Africa.
Symbol of humility together with strength
The ram will fight fiercely against an adversary, but it also submits humbly to slaughter, emphasizing that even the strong need to be humble.
Symbol of life transformation
This symbol combines two separate adinkra symbols, the “Morning Star” which can mean a new start to the day, placed inside the wheel, representing rotation or independent movement.
Anti-Counterfeiting And Brand
Protection In Africa
While the demand is growing for branded goods, the instances of infringing and counterfeit goods is on the increase.
The various IP rights protection measures available to brand holders differ from country to country and vary from region to region. As a result, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ anti-counterfeiting strategy cannot be easily applied or adopted in covering the key regions and territories in Africa.
A key understanding of Africa and its nuances is important in establishing an effective anti-counterfeiting strategy. Although modern trade is growing in Africa, this is still small and underdeveloped in most African countries. The most common and popular trading channels in Africa are the simple table top or small ‘spaza’ shops, which are individually owned and managed by local entrepreneurs, set up on the side of the road, or in local markets, in order to capture the passing trade.
A strategy focused primarily on customs recordals and actions alone is not sufficient or recommended in Africa, particularly due to the inconsistencies in inspections and measures to stop counterfeits at the ports, airports and borders from region to region. As such, we encourage a comprehensive strategy that includes a strong market focus and consistent enforcement strategy, using local law enforcement and regulatory mechanisms to derive the maximum benefit from the mechanisms available in each territory.
An effective strategy requires a holistic approach focused on movement of goods driven by supply and demand.
Whilst the application of laws is determined by country borders, the flow of goods into neighbouring territories through both formal and informal cross-border trade following historic regional trade routes entrenched by centuries of cross border trade, is not confined to these borders.
We approach IP protection and enforcement measures in Africa from a regional perspective, considering thesehistoric and cultural trade routes and the flow of goods and services driven by market demands in neighbouringterritories.
Symbol of importance of learning from the past