22 Aug Protecting Your Ideas & Intellectual Property: What Every Entrepreneur in Nigeria Needs To Know
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As an entrepreneur, inventor, business owner or individual, protecting your ideas and intellectual property should at no point ever be taken for granted. While you might be bothered and focusing on execution which in case could be developing the mobile app or finding a way to turn that idea into a business one way the other, the other most important thing is getting the right protection for your idea.
In this article, we shall look at some of the best ways you can protect your ideas, how you can go about the processes and some basic facts patents, copyrights & protecting your ideas in Nigeria.
First, let us look at some of the methods of protecting your ideas and the role they play. The five essential legal tools for protecting ideas are patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress unfair competition laws, and trade secrets. Some of these legal tools can also be used creatively as marketing aids, and often more than one form of protection is available for a single design or innovation.
While patency is a right granted by the government to prevent other parties from making, selling, or using your invention, whether that invention is a product, a method, an apparatus, a composition of matter (including man-made microorganisms), or a computer program, a trademark is a word, phrase, or symbol (two- or three-dimensional) that identifies your product or service in the marketplace. Trademarks, like patents, can be used creatively in your market program. Aspects of a product that may qualify for trademark protection include Shape, such as the Jeep front grille and the Coca-Cola bottle, or even building designs, such as McDonald’s golden arches.
Just to share how important it is to protect your ideas, the video below shows 10 ideas & patents that turned to become billion dollar empires
A copyright prevents copying of any writing, work of art (two- or three-dimensional), or computer program. Ownership in a work exists automatically the moment the work is reduced to tangible form. That ownership can be forfeited, however, if the work is made public without proper “notice,” which includes the symbol (c), the year first made public, and the name of the owner of the work.
The other common law protection, trade secrets, may be defined as all those documents and pieces of information within a company that the company takes steps to conceal from outsiders and that are not necessarily disclosed upon the sale of the company’s product or services. Examples include customer lists, blueprints, and recipes. The company’s ownership in these secrets exists upon their creation. No application need be filed anywhere.
There is often a general misconception that these protections are not binding here in Nigeria. That is completely wrong. You can file for copyrights yourself and directly by going to the e-registration portal of the Nigerian Copyrights Commission via http://www.copyright.gov.ng/. Application for patents is done through the ipo nigeria website. The process requires an applicant to conduct a search first to make sure the invention/idea has not already been patented yet. Below are other requirements needed:
- Bio Data of Principal Partner (First Name, Surname, Nationality, Date Of Birth, State Of Origin)
- Company information (Name, Address, Email, Phone Number, Contact Person, Contact Number, Date of Incorporation)
- Account Login Information ( Preferred Username And Password)
- Supporting documents (CAC Certificate, Letter Of Introduction Of Company And Its Representatives, Passport Photograph Of Principal Partner)
- A one-off fee of N23, 500 for Corporate institutions and N13, 500 for individuals
It is not as hard or complex as it seems, however, with the right guidance you save a lot of time and stress. It is important to know that having a patent in a foreign country does not mean your product is protected in Nigeria. Another thing to bear in mind is that filing a patent requires full disclosure in the specification of claims, plans, and drawings. Although the rights of patents gives the owner exclusive rights and keeps others from copying, the inventor in return must fully disclose the details of the invention to the public who will not be able to use the patent without the consent of the inventor or after the expiration of the protection.
Let’s take us back to 2013 when Apple was ranked as the most valuable brand in the world by leading business magazine Forbes. Apple’s success is partly due to their approach to business, but more importantly, it was driven by the value of their IP. As an indication of the value Apple place on their IP, Apple has sued Samsung many times for IP infringement, famously being awarded $1 billion in 2012!
Don’t just conceive an idea, protect it! Learn how to protect your intellectual property today. Register for this upcoming training by Webkraft Academy where you get to discover the secrets and everything you need to know. For more inquiries, you can reach the organizers via +2347039790407 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Start now before it’s too late!