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What a Trademark must consist for it to be registrable

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The standard that is needed to satisfy the requirement of distinctiveness for registration

"Section 9 provides for distinctiveness needed for registration in Part A of the register.

By section 9(1), in order for a trade mark to be registrable in Part A of the register, it must contain or consist of at least one of the following essential particulars:

(a) the name of a company, individual or film represented in a special or particular manner;

(b) the signature of the applicant for registration or some predecessor in his business;

(c) an invented word or invented words;

(d) a word or words having no direct reference to the character or quality of the goods, and not being according to its ordinary signification, a geographical name or a surname;

(e) any other distinctive mark".


What "distinctiveness" means

"The element of distinctiveness is consonant to or predicated on some age by way of long or extensive user. What constitutes long or extensive user is a question of fact to be determined in the light of the circumstances of the case. It is certainly not the age of Methuselah.

Once the trade mark, by frequent use, has acquired a notoriety in the trade to the common knowledge and common and easy identification of persons in the trade, it will be said to have acquired the character of distinctiveness."


Per TOBI, JSC in Ferodo Ltd. v. Ibeto Ind. Ltd (2004) 5 NWLR (Pt.866)317