In the course of interacting with clients and prospects, to assist them with their trademark registration, I’ve been asked this question repeatedly. If you’ve had a similar question, I believe this article will give you the answer you seek.
For context, I’ll be responding to this question as it relates to trademark registration in Nigeria.
CAN I REGISTER MY NAME AS A TRADEMARK?
My response to this question is that it depends on whether or not your birth name meets the criteria for approval in Nigeria.
The only way your birth name may be considered for registration is if it is “DISTINCTIVE” and allows other persons or traders who have the same or similar names, the honest use of their real names.
WHEN DOES A BIRTH NAME QUALIFY AS DISTINCTIVE?
Let’s say for instance you decide to have your birth name “Cynthia” registered as a trademark. You’ll agree with me that there are thousands of persons currently bearing a similar name and are probably using it for business purposes.
There is therefore a great chance that your application to have the name “CYNTHIA” registered as a trademark will not be approved. This is because granting approval will mean that persons who already bear the same name will have to seek your consent to use the name which goes against public morals. Don’t you think?
But assuming you decide to present the name in a stylized way such as; “SINTIYA” instead of “CYNTHIA”, there is a better chance of having the name “SINTIYA” registered as a trademark, so long as in the opinion of the Registrar, the name is not commonly used and is unlikely to prevent anyone bearing such name from making honest use of the name SINTIYA.
And we will only be able to find that out by carrying out a formal trademark search as a first step in your trademark registration process.
I hope I’ve been able to do justice to this question.
Do you still have questions bothering on trademarks or you need assistance with the registration process, please feel free to leave a message through the Whatsapp icon on the lower right part of this page or send a message here, and we’ll attend to you.