Volume 1 Issue 1


Intellectual Property Committee Appoints New Chairperson

We are proud to announce that our Principal Partner, Mr. Afamefuna Nwokedi has been appointed Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Committee on Intellectual Property.

8th NBA Annual Business Law Conference

The Section on Business Law (SBL) of the Nigerian Bar Association recently concluded its 8th Annual Business Law Conference. The conference which commenced on 25th May and ended on 27th May was themed Exemplary Governance : Enhancing Economic Development in Nigeria. The conference featured several keynote speakers some of which were The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Lord Mark Malloch Brown and Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State. It also featured key stakeholders from Nigeria’s corporate sector.

Our Principal Partner, Mr. Afamefuna Nwokedi was a panellist at the 2nd Session of the Intellectual Property Committee sub-themed, “The Role of Government in the Development and Enforcement of Intellectual Property in Nigeria”.

Redbull vs. Bulldog: Trademarks Registry rules in favour of Bulldog.

The Bulldog vs. Redbull contentious train wagon eventually arrived at Nigeria. Stillwaters Law Firm (SLF) represented the Applicant for Bulldog and after a fierce opposition, got ruling in favour of the Applicant.

Companies and Allied Matters (Amendment) Bill 2014

There is bill pending before the National Assembly seeking to amend section 80 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). If passed the amendment will correct the lacunae in section 80 of CAMA which allows infants to be members of a company simply by neglecting to count them when calculating the statutory minimum number of members in a company.

There is also another provision in section 20(1) and (2) of the present CAMA which allows an infant to join in the formation of a company so long as there are two or more other qualified subscribers. Unfortunately, the bill does not attempt to also amend this position and if passed, would pose a paradoxical conflict within the Act.

Publication Of Designs By The Trademarks Registry

Over the years, efforts have always been on the publication of only trademarks in the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Journal published by the Registry of Trademarks, Patents and Designs. In what can be described as a trail blazer since the publication of the journal in Nigeria, the Registrar of Trademarks published both patents and industrial designs in the journal published on 31st December 2013. This is indeed a welcomed development in an attempt to revolutionize the practice and procedure of the registering designs and trademarks in Nigeria. We hope the momentum would be sustained.

Intellectual Property Automated System (IPAs) Launched In Nigeria

It was a milestone achievement in the development of intellectual property in Nigeria when the Federal Government launched the first Intellectual Property Automated System, IPAS on January 28, 2014 after 100 years of manual service. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga who launched the IPAS noted that with the IPAS, services would not only be more efficient, quicker and cheaper, but will also ensure transparency and accountability. We look forward to improved services from the Registry.

Nigeria, The Book Capital of the World 2014

The World Book and Copyright Day, celebrated in Nigeria. Port Harcourt in River State, Nigeria was designated by UNESCO, the world body responsible for the commemoration of the World Book and Copyright Day, as the Book Capital of the World for the year 2014.

This great honour to Nigeria has been attributed in many circles to be the fruits of the unrelenting effort of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) in combating the menace of piracy. The literary prowess and exploits of Nigerian authors like Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, late Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie among others have also been lauded as a major contributory factor to the recognition of Nigeria by the UNESCO.

At the NCC’s yearly event in commemoration of the World Book and Copyright Day, 2014, the Director-General of NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude announced a comprehensive review of the Nigerian Copyright Act to address some issues to bring the Act in line with international best practices and ensure that challenges of contemporary technologies are well taken care of. He also stated that the Commission had stepped up the tempo of its anti-piracy operations, confiscating a total of 5,757,522 assorted copyright works worth approximately N7 billion (USD 42.3 million) and arrested 371 suspects.

Digital Music Licensing to begin in Nigeria

A coalition of the stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry and the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), at the first Nigerian Digital Music Licensing Summit held last year in Lagos set up a working committee to establish the rules and structure for Digital Music Licensing in Nigeria.

The committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Tony Okoroji of COSON convened a meeting on Thursday, October 9, 2014 to begin deliberation on the proposed rules and tariff to be adopted for implementing digital music licensing. Stillwaters Law Firm is represented in the committee.

We shall closely monitor and relay the coalition’s decision in subsequent publications.

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