Requirements for a Nigerian patent

Filing requirements

Nigerian patents must contain:

  • the applicantā€™s full name and address;
  • (if the applicant is a foreigner) an address for service in Nigeria;
  • a description of the invention (with drawings, if appropriate);
  • claims;
  • declaration by the inventor providing his name and address;
  • a Power of Attorney (without legalisation or certification);
  • (if priority is claimed):
    • a declaration showing the priority date, number and country;
    • the name of the person who filed the priority application;
    • a certified copy of the priority document (lodged within 3 months)
    • (if the priority document is not in English) an English translation of the priority document signed by the applicant or his agent.

Patent exclusions

Apart from the general requirement that the invention must be novel (absolute / worldwide novelty), inventive and capable of industrial application, Nigerian patent law does not permit patents for:

  • plant of animal varieties;
  • essentially biological process for the production of plants or animals (other than microbiological processes and their products); and
  • inventions the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality.

Prior disclosure at international exhibitions

Nigerian law permits disclosure at an official or officially recognised international exhibition.

Unity of invention

Each Nigerian patent may relate to only one invention.

Publication

Publication of the Nigerian patent occurs after grant.

Timelines

Nigerian patents typically take about 4 months for the patent certificate to be issued. Acceptance of Nigerian patents may be requested, but this is not recommended.

Amendment

Nigerian patents may be:

  • amended on filing the Nigerian PCT national phase patent by submitting the amended Nigerian national phase patent specification and a tracked version showing the changes made;
  • after filing and before grant, which amendment may increase the scope of the claims; and
  • after grant, provided that the amendment may not increase the scope of the claims.

Term and renewals

Nigerian patents continue in force for 20 years from the date of filing (subject to payment annual renewal fees). The date of filing of a Nigerian PCT national phase patent is the PCT international filing date.

Nigerian patent renewals are payable annually from the filing date and may be paid during a 6 month grace period, provided that expiration or lapse of a Nigerian patent shall be ā€œregistered and notifiedā€.

Nigerian patent cost

Using the GlobalIPCo system to file Nigerian patents online:

Nigerian patentCost (US$)
Filing$650
Acceptance & grant
Courier$ 27.50*
Subtotal (filing, grant and courier)$677.50
Vicennial Renewal “to term” (20 years)$ 630
Total lifetime cost$ 1,307.50

* If 4 patents are included in a courier parcel (courier parcel cost $110)

Law firms are entitled to discounted fees through GlobalIPCo.

SANi Patent

Instead of filing just a Nigerian patent, consider filing a SANi Patent – a combination Nigerian and South African patent. This is the best option for securing patent coverage in Africa. S&Z pricing to law firms:

  • Filing to courier of SANi patent certificates: $875.
  • Pre-payment of all 20 years of SANi patent renewals: $875.
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