The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) was established to administer, enforce and regulate copyright and neighbouring rights matters in Nigeria. It was established in 1988 by the Copyright Decree No. 47 of 1988 which is now Copyright Act Cap C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The Law requires that publishers, printers, producers and manufacturers of works keep a register of all works.
NCC now operates an e-Registration System (NCeRS) which is a platform for copyright creators or persons with rights to copyright works to register their works online with the Commission. The platform is a fashionable data collection scheme of copyright notifications. It enables the Commission do its job efficiently and also to cover more creators and their works. The database is to enable the general public and the Commission to have wider reach to creators and their works.
Intellectual Properties are as follows:
|S/N||PROPERTY||OWNER’S RIGHT||EXAMPLE||LEGAL PROTECTION||APPLICATION||PROTECTION PERIOD||REMEDY|
|1||Copyright Materials 1||The owner has exclusive rights to publish or reproduce or do whatever he pleases with it within the country.||Literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work||Copyright Act 1988||Protection is automatic even if you do not apply for it. Just prove that it exists.||70 years from the death of the owner||Any infringement could lead to both civil and criminal action|
|2||Copyright Materials 2||The owner has the right to do as he pleases with it and the protection of the work.||Records or films||Copyright Act 1988||Protection is automatic even if you do not apply for it. Just prove that it exists.||Extends from the 1st year of make or broadcast to 50 years after||Any infringement could lead to both civil and criminal action|
|3||Patents||The proprietor has the exclusive right to use it as he will||Inventions||Patents and Designs Act of 1971 Cap 344||Apply to the Patent and Designs registry in Abuja with details of the design||Extends up to 20 years from date of filling||Civil action|
|4||Industrial Designs||The proprietor has the exclusive right to use it as he will||3-dimensional or 2-dimensional designs or patterns which are applied to products like watches, house-wares, etc||Patents and Designs Act of 1971 Cap 344||Apply to the Patent and Designs registry in Abuja with details of the design||Extends to 5 years from the date of registration and it is renewable up to two periods of 5 years.||Civil action|
|5||Trademarks||The proprietor has the exclusive right to use it as he will||Symbol or sign such as logos, domain name, shape, colour or sound.||Trade Marks Act 1965||Apply to the Registry of Trade Mark in Abuja||Seven years renewable by further periods of 14 years, subject of continual usage||Civil and Criminal Action|
From the above table of available intellectual properties, you could see that most of them are protected by different statutes/different governing bodies. Nigeria does not have a centralized system of registration of intellectual property. The NCC, which we are x-raying in this post only covers:
- Literary Works
- Musical works
- Artistic works
- Cinematographic films
- Sound recordings
WHO CAN MAKE REGISTRATION
Any of the following can:
- An Author
- A Copyright Owner
- An Assignee
- An Agent
- Any Transferee/holder of copyright assignment of exclusive license
To register, any of the above persons has to obtain the registration/notification application form after making the prescribed payment at any Bank Branch, nationwide. Click here for more details.
Application for registration of copyright can either be done online here or offline at all offices of the Commission nationwide.
HOW TO REGISTER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Your registration process starts from the NCeRS portal. Click www.eregistration.copyright.gov.ng to proceed.
Click on Copyright on ‘Copyright Registration’ and then click ‘Create an account.’
Fill the form displayed for the creation of account. Ensure you fill in the correct information. After completion click ‘submit.’
Check your email for the email notification and click the activation link. Once you are taken back to the page, log in with your correct log in details i.e. username and password.
After accessing the portal, click ‘Register a New Work’ on the dashboard. A drop down menu will reveal the various sections to be completed – eleven sections in all. Complete the form correctly and click ‘Save and Next’ to continue. Ensure all asterisked fields are completed. You can save your form for later. Also the completed form can be saved as PDF and printed.
Once your application is submitted, wait for approval. If approved, you will be able to view your certificate online. The Original copy is available for receipt or picked up anytime. However, if your application is still being processed your status will read ‘Processing Application.’ If queried, the status will appear as ‘Queried Application’ and ‘Pending Application’ are for those yet to be processed by NeCRS.
After your certificate has been issued, details of your work will then be on the NCeRS database and available for the public to view. It can be searched on the site either by using the title of the work or any other search criteria.
Ensure you visit the site to register your intellectual property so that no one steals your idea and register it before you. Many has fallen victim of this, do not be. Delay is dangerous.
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