Patents: Nigeria

General Information

International Agreements : Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Lisbon act 1958).

Patent Types : Patents

Novelty Requirements : Applicable

Claiming Priority : Yes - Priority can be claimed, but all documents relating to such claim must be submitted to the Registrar not latter than 3 months form the date of filing.

Examination : Formal Examination only

Protection Period : 20 Years

Publication : Yes

Annuity Payments : Yearly.

Grace period for Payments : 6 (six) months.

Compulsory Licensing : Yes - at any time after the expiration of a period of four years after the filing of a patent application or three years after the grant of a patent, whichever period last expires, a person may apply to the court for the grant of a compulsory licence on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. (a) That the patented invention, capable of being worked in Nigeria, has not been worked; (b) That the existing degree of working of the patented invention does not meet on reasonable terms the demand for the product; (c) That the working of the patented invention in Nigeria is being hindered or prevented by the importation of the patented article and (d) That by reason of the refusal of the Patentee to grant licences, on reasonable terms, the establishment or development of industrial or commercial activities in Nigeria is unfairly and substantially prejudiced; or
  2. If an invention protected by a patent in Nigeria cannot be worked without infringing rights derived from a patent granted on an earlier application or benefiting from an earlier foreign priority, a compulsory licence may be granted to the patentee of the later patent to the extent necessary for the working of his invention if the invention serves industrial purposes different from those served by the invention which is the subject of the earlier patent or constitutes substantial technical progress in relation to that last mentioned invention. 

the Government under a ministerial authority can also authorise any person to utilize the patent without the authority of the patentee and without liability accruing from the said use.

Opposition to Grant Patents : Not possible - patents may be attacked by nullification suits before the Federal High Court.

Nullification : The court may declare a patent null and void:

  1. If the subject is not patentable.
  2. The description of the invention does not disclose the relevant invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be put into effect by a person skilled in the art or field of knowledge to which the invention relates.
  3. If for the same invention a patent has been granted in Nigeria as the result of a prior application or an application benefiting from an earlier foreign priority.


Filing Requirements

Patent Filing Requirements

  1. The Applicant’s full name and address.
  2. A description of the relevant invention with any appropriate plans or claims. 
  3. Assignment of invention (where the applicant is not the inventor). 
  4. Authorisation of Agent. 
  5. Priority documents where applicable.


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