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Recent News April 22, 2018

UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF TRADEMARKS AND COPYRIGHTS.

ensured not only nationally, but also internationally via several international treaties.

A TRADEMARK is a sign used to identify goods and services provided by a specific person in order to distinguish such goods and services from similar ones provided by another .For example HP, DELL are trademarks that help identify specific goods (computers and computer related objects). Trademarks may consist of a word or a combination of words, letters and abbreviations, numerals, names or abbreviations of names and may also consist of drawings.

In whatever form it takes, a Trademark must be distinctive i.e. it must be capable of distinguishing the goods and services with which it is used. In Nigeria, the registration of a trademark is for a period of Seven years and may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Copyright on the other hand is a set of exclusive rights granted, by the law of a jurisdiction, to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.

The essence of Copyright is to protect the Intellectual Property of a person, and to stop it from being reproduced and sold by unauthorized persons. It therefore enables the author of the work to enjoy the fruit of his/her labor. Works Eligible for Copyright under the Copyright Act are; Literary Works, Musical Work, Artistic Work, Cinematographic Film, Sound Recording/Broadcast.

It is important to note that Copyright does not protect ideas, but protects only the expression of thoughts in a tangible form. For example the idea of painting a picture of the sunset is not protected by copyright, however a particular painting of the sunset done by an Artist would be protected by copyright. Therefore, if someone makes a  copy/replica without the consent of the Artist, that person would be violating the Artist’s Copyrights.