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Protecting Your Intellectual Property In Nigeria



Protecting Your Intellectual Property In Nigeria


1.1. Nigeria is an emerging country and slowly taking its place in the comity of Nations. From Oil and Gas to Information and Communications Technology, the country is gradually carving a niche for itself as the next emerging destination after China for foreign direct investments. However the country still suffers from years of neglect in protection of investors rights partly because for many years it was a pariah. 1.2. This paper therefore is part of a series aimed at outlining the various intellectual property laws in place at the moment. The focus at this juncture is Copyright law and practice and a question and answer format has been adopted to make it as reader friendly as possible. 1.3. All efforts have been expended to address all issues, but it may not be exhaustive, any further enquiries in this regard may be addressed to the author at the following addresses: sola(at) 2. What are the specific laws Governing Copyright law and practice in Nigeria? 2.1. Copyright law and practice is governed in Nigeria by the Copyright Acts of 1970 & 1988, there have also been amendments introduced to the act in 1992 & 1999. 2.2. There are also several treaties and international agreements on Copyright to which Nigeria is a party or signatory such as: THE BERNE CONVENTION 1886; THE UNIVERSAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTION 1952; ROME CONVENTION; TRADE RELATED ASPECTS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS [TRIPS]; & THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION [WIPO]. 3. Is there a regulatory agency empowered to oversee Copyright issues in Nigeria? 3.1. There is and it is known as Nigerian Copyright Commission. 4. Does this agency register copyrights as is done in other countries? 4.1. No. Nigeria does not operate a centralised system of registration for copyright. 4.2. What the law requires however is that publishers, printers, producers and manufacturers of works keep a register of all works produced by them showing the following 4.2.1. The name of the author; 4.2.2. The title; 4.2.3. The year of production; 4.2.4. The quantity of the work produced. 4.3. The Nigerian Copyright Commission is empowered to maintain an effective data bank on authors and their works.

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