D. What are the practical steps for registering a patent in Nigeria?Step 1: Fill Application Form together with written declaration
There are two classes of application forms available for patent registration;
- Form 1A: being the application form for the registration of a conventional/local patent; and
- Form 1B: being application form for the registration of a non-conventional/international patent.
I. Filling of Form 1A (Local Application)
Form 1A is the applicable form for local applications for works created and originating in
Nigeria. The name, address, email address and contact number of the applicant is required to
be provided and in cases of multiple/joint inventors or inventors under the employ of a
company, the name, address, email and contact number of a representative of the company
or the joint inventors will be appropriate.
A declaration by the true inventor will be required to be submitted alongside the application
form and Form 3. The true inventor is the individual responsible for the ideation of the
II. Filling of Form 1B (Foreign Application)
Form 1B is the applicable form for applicant seeking foreign priority for works or inventions
which did not originate from Nigeria and which is already registered in another foreign
jurisdiction. The application will be accompanied by a written declaration consisting of:
1. The date and the number of the earlier application:
2. The country in which such application was made; and
3. The name of the inventor who made it.
The applicant will also fill a Form 3 as detailed below, to accompany the Form 1B and the
written declaration. Not more than 3 months after filing the application, the applicant will be
required to furnish the Registrar with a copy of the earlier application certified by the
appropriate industrial property office of the foreign convention country.
Step 2: Fill the Specification Form (Form 3)
All Applicants (Local or Foreign) are required to fill Form 3 – Complete Specification Form.
Form 3 is very crucial to any Patent application; it contains a detailed description of the
invention and its claims (a claim is any information detailing the innovation of the invention
provided by the applicant in hopes of creating an extent/scope of protection for the said
invention from infringement by a subsequent invention). The applicant would have to explain
in the technical terms what makes the invention different from what already exists in the
market in hopes to protect it from subsequent inventions.
The contents of Form 3 would include;
1. The title of the invention;
2. An abstract on the functionality of the invention;
3. Background and History of the Invention;
4. Detailed description of the invention supported with diagrams and illustrations;
5. Claims (starting from general claims to specific ones):
6. Summary of what society/ mankind stands to gain from the invention
Step 3: Submit application to the Registry and pay of application fees
The Applicant will pay the application fee as may from time to time be advised by the Registrar
and submit application forms together with evidence of payment of the prescribed fees.
Step 4: Application is granted and patent is valid for 20 years
After submission, the patent application is examined by the Registrar merely to ascertain
formal compliance, the Registrar assumes regularity. Once the application satisfies the
statutory requirements as to the completion of form, payment of appropriate fees amongst
others, the Registrar is likely to grant the patent without enquiries into its novelty,
inventiveness and industrial applicability or sufficiency of disclosures in Form 3.
Patents are granted at the risk of the patentee and without guarantee as to their validity. Once
granted, a patent is valid for 20 years.