Monthly Archives: June 2012

LAUGH OUT LOUD! COMEDY AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

“I dey laugh o!”

Does anybody remember who said that?

“I still dey laugh o”

Who said that?

Is it covered by copyright?

Is this a tagline?

Comedy is no longer a laughing matter as it is now big business.  In the early days there was Chief Chika Okpala, aka Chief Zebrudaya of the New Masquerade fame in the 80s. Then along came John Chukwu in the early 90’s.  Meanwhile, Gbenga Adeboye held sway in the comedy circuit from the 70s till he passed on. Some of the comedians we have are Basket Mouth, Patrick Doyle, Julius Agwu, Jedi, AY, Gandoki, Teju Baby Face, Mandy, Princess, Lepacious Bose, Seyi Law, Holy Mallam, Julius the Genius Agwu and Ali Baba. 

Landmarks Events…

The Opa Williams “A Night of a Thousand Laughs”…

The programme took a life of its own and the organisers excelled at brand extension by churning out a number of goods like Cds, T-Shirts and other souvenirs.

Then along came Atunyota Alleluya Akpophiohuobo Akpobomerere, better known as, King Ali Baba.

He is said to have practically rebranded the industry by giving it a new face and direction.

At the onset people were a bit conservative, but overtime, with television, travel, information technology and yes freedom of speech (democracy) the industry evolved very quickly.

In Nigeria comedians often neglect their intellectual property and its legal power and commercial potential to develop their unique images, fend off competition and maximise profits by commercialisation and extension of their brand identity.

Find below the legal regime for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Nigeria.

Copy Right Act, Cap. C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004

Patents and Designs Act, Cap P2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; and

Trade Marks Act, Cap. T13 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004

 

Is Comedy without Intellectual Property Protection and commercialization really a laughing matter?

Intellectual Property Registration and Enforcement Strategies:

The Nigerian Experience:

Innovative Jokes…

In other climes script writers pen the jokes that comedians perform.

Improvised routines?

One Liners?

 

Borrowing of Jokes/ Comedy Routines is not a laughing matter

More established comedians claim that they are getting fewer laughs when they perform because audience members have often already heard their jokes on the internet or from upcoming acts.

Intellectual Property for Borrowing…

The Federal Government under President Goodluck Jonathan released US$200 million as the Entertainment industry Fund. The Nigerian Entertainment Fund is being managed by Nigerian Export and Import Bank, NEXIM, which has since released guidelines for the operation of the Nigerian creative and entertainment Stimulation Loan Scheme.  According to the guidelines released         by        NEXIM, (http://neximbank.com.ng/CHECKLIST_Entertainment_Industry.pdf)

‘Applicant shall forward in addition to other requirements Collateral security / Intellectual Property Assets that are properly patented, trademarked, copyrighted, etc. to be pledged/assigned.

 

New Jokes in the house…

The experience in other climes:

 

Self help

 

Cease and desist letters

 

 

A Possible Paradigm shift

 

Basis for protection

While Nigerian Intellectual Property Right owners need to get smarter about the way they protect their I.P., there is still a foundation upon which the other strategies are built.

 

 

Which Wan Be This I.P. Sef?

Nigerian Comedians should show concern about infringement of their intellectual property, at the minimum they need to get up to date with IP and comedy.

 

            Conclusion

Registration of your intellectual property is the first step to properly managing I.P.

It is not about the form of expression versus the idea in the joke, it is a fine mix of both and it all depends on what angle you are looking from, in the end a mix of I.P. Registration, social normative systems, commercialisation of Intellectual Property  rights and Intellectual Property  asset management may hold the key to the growth of the comedy industry in Nigeria.


Olufola Wusu Esq.

copyright © 2012

Counsel with Megathos Law Practice

Okay that was a mouthful…

So lets get started…Does Comedy really need Intellectual Property?

Your thoughts anyone?

Legal Disclaimer

by Olufola Wusu Esq

(1) No advice

This note contains general information about [law and legal practice]. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

(2) No warranties

The legal information on this article is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the legal information on this article will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the legal information on this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(3) Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

23 Comments

Filed under Comedy and Intellectual Property

“I.P. (INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY) AS A VALUABLE ASSET IN AVIATION” (As it appeared in THISDAY LAWYER http://www.thisdaylive.com/)

Quite a number of more people are discovering that general aviation is fast, efficient, and safe, opening a whole new window of travel opportunities for both business and personal travel. Aviation benefits passengers and freight with swift, cost-effective transportation; it contributes to the overall economic growth of our nation, provides significant revenues to our national purse, creates a large numbers of high-value jobs, provides extensive benefits to international trade and tourism, facilitates law enforcement, saves lives and aids agriculture.

Intellectual Property as a valuable asset in aviation

Intellectual Property becomes a valuable asset to the airlines and public institutions, when it is registered and steps are taken to prevent competitors from accessing and using it for free, more value is even derived when the owner of such Intellectual Property actively seeks to commercialise his intellectual assets by synergising with other airlines or companies willing to use his Intellectual Assets for a fee in exchange for a license.

Legal regime covering Intellectual Property

The laws enumerated below make up the legal regime for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Nigeria.

Copy Right Act, Cap. C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004

Patents and Designs Act, Cap P2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; and

Trade Marks Act, Cap. T13 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004   Airborne Intellectual Property;

The basic types of Intellectual property prevalent in the Aviation sector are the following; Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets and Others like brands, Know-How and Professional Credentials & Credibility.

Patents

A patent is a document issued, upon application by a government office (or a regional office acting for several countries), which describes an invention and creates a legal situation in which the patented invention can only be legally exploited (manufactured, used, sold, imported) with the authorization of the owner of the patent Patents in Nigeria typically provide protection for a period of 20 years from the filing of the application for patent grant. A patent will be granted in respect of an invention if it is new, result from inventive activities and is capable of industrial application; or if it constitutes an improvement upon a patented invention and also is new, results from inventive activity and is capable of industrial application. Section 1 of the Patents and Designs Act, Cap P2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (the Patent Act) Section 51 and 52 of Civil Aviation Act no. 6 of 2006 also relates to patents in aviation

Trade secrets

A “trade secret” is defined as any product, operating formula, pattern, device or other compilation of information which is used in a business, which gets its economic value from being kept secret, and gives the business a competitive advantage. The Aviation industry also relies on trade secret protection. Innovation ranging from advancements in aircraft assembly, performance, maintenance, flight simulation and advancements in airline operations are confidential and fiercely protected as trade secrets.

Copyright

Copyright exists in creative and artistic works such as aviation books, movies, photographs and aviation software. A copyright gives the holder of such copyright the exclusive right to control exploitation, production and adaptation of such a work for a certain period of time. Copyright protection is particularly important to the Aviation industry in the protection of databases and maps.  

Trademarks

The first “flight” in any great aviation company is a good name. It should be registered as a trademark. A trademark is usually a word, your name; but it can also be a logo, a blog (https://megathoslawpractice.wordpress.com/), a tag line “Just does it”. In choosing a name, it is wise to consider a name that is distinctive.  

Brand Protection for Aviation Companies

Aviation companies develop good reputations associated with their brand names and will definitely benefit from the registration of their trademarks. International protection of company trademarks is also very important. However air safety should be the number one concern of aviation companies and as such more efforts should be made to properly tackle the issue of safety in air travel otherwise there will be nothing left of Aviation Brands.

Industrial Designs Industrial design rights protects the form of appearance, style or design of an industrial object for example Air craft spare parts, Airline Passenger Cabins, Airliner Flight Decks and External Styling/Aesthetics of Aircraft.  

Airborne I.P. –The way forward

The American Experience

The Boeing Company in America has been identified as one of America’s top innovators among aerospace companies based on the number of new patents it has received and the strength of its patent portfolio.

The need to leverage on Intellectual Property

Airlines and Aviation companies need to leverage on their “pipeline power” —which is usually measured by the originality and variety of patents, as well as the rate of increase in number of patents obtained.

The need for Research and Innovation

The Aviation Industry in Nigeria needs to nurture the kinds of inventions and patents in its research and development efforts that will increase the long-term strength of Nigeria’s Aviation industry. Large Aviation companies and Small Aviation companies can provide a rich environment in which innovation can thrive.  

Intellectual Property Management unit (IPM)

Aviation companies need an Intellectual Property Management unit (IPM) that will help them create, protect and leverage on their intellectual property.

Anti-Counterfeiting measures and Aviation safety

A plane belonging to a certain airline crashed in Davao in 2000, it killed all 131 people on board, and it was described as the worst air accident in Philippine history. The crash was believed to have been caused by “counterfeit and faulty aircraft parts.” Sometime ago a plane smashed into Buga a Colombian mountainside on December 20, 1995, killing 151 passengers and 8 crew members, it is reported that outlaw salvagers didn’t even wait for all 159 victims’ bodies to be collected before they moved in to extract engine thrust reversers, cockpit avionics and other valuable components from the shattered Boeing 757. (http://wp.me/p2u72z-15)

Need to curb the menace of “Tokunbo Parts”

Parts illegally salvaged from crashes, counterfeit parts and other substandard components regularly find their way into the world’s air fleets, sold at bargain prices, often with falsified documents about their origin or composition, your guess is as good as mine as regards where such planes and parts are usually dumped. Counterfeit aviation and automobile spare parts, aviation fuel and pharmaceuticals, are dangerous to the safety, health and lives of Nigerians and should be intercepted and destroyed.             

Conclusion

The Aviation industry has been described as a “knowledge industry” because of the quick evolution of technology in recent times. Simply owning intellectual property rights does not generate money. To produce income the owners of these Airborne IP rights must exploit them financially through various types of commercial agreements including but not limited to licensing arrangements, joint ventures, and/or assignments   of rights. In a way, these commercial agreements are an attempt to turn intellectual property into intellectual capital that will then increase your cash flow.

Olufola Wusu Esq. © 2012

Counsel at Megathos Law Practice

.Legal Practitioner. . Commercialization of Intellectual Property.  . I.P. Asset Consultant.

He can be reached at folawusu@yahoo.com  

Legal Disclaimer

by Olufola Wusu Esq

(1) No advice

This note contains general information about [law and legal practice]. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

(2) No warranties

The legal information on this article is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the legal information on this article will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the legal information on this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(3) Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

3 Comments

Filed under Aviation Law

DO YOU COOK? I.P. IN THE KITCHEN-(“Does a Restaurant Have IP Rights to its Menu?”As it appeared in Thisday Lawyer 22/05/12) http://www.thisdaylive.com)


In Nigeria, dining out has become a very popular form of leisure and entertainment, generating an estimated N250 billion(two hundred and fifty billion Naira) in 2011.

However, dining out represents only one aspect of the modern food economy; cooking and dining are regularly featured in newspapers, TV programmes and magazines, while celebrity chefs tout their own brands in other countries, in Nigeria celebrities’ are casted as chefs touting popular brands on television.

Eating has been transformed from routine activity into big business. Increasing competition for the attention and money of restaurant patrons and fast food lovers has prompted chefs of grande cuisine and owners of fast foods to differentiate their menus by creating unique dishes with innovative names that remain largely unprotected.

The time and labour that chefs invest into this form of innovation represents a substantial investment, and very few have turned to the law to protect their original dishes from competing chefs.

Yet, in Nigeria copyright law fails to protect chefs’ recipes from copycats.  Historically, the law has viewed recipes as uncopyrightable subject matter because of their “functional” and “utilitarian” nature.

More interestingly restaurant owners and fast food owners have not been very eager to protect the intellectual property inherent in their recipes and their shops as a whole.

The laws enumerated below make up the legal regime for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Nigeria.

Nigerian Copy Right Act, Cap. C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004

Patents and Designs Act, Cap P2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; and

Trade Marks Act, Cap. T13 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004

Reasons for protecting Intellectual property in your Restaurant

In Nigeria many restaurant operators often neglect their intellectual property and its legal power and potential to develop their unique images, fend off competition and maximise profits by commercializing their intellectual property and extending their brand identity.

Key intellectual property in Restaurants and practical steps to protect them

There are a plethora of intellectual property assets that are worthy of legal protection namely Copyright, Patent, Industrial Design and Trademark and restaurants can and should use them to strengthen the value of their brands by the possibility of licensing, franchising and merchandising amongst other options.

Distinctive Names

The first ingredient in any great restaurant is a good name. It should be registered as a trademark. A trademark is usually a word, your name; but it can also be a logo, an email address(folawusu@yahoo.com, a tag line “Just do it”. Whether registered or not, a name is a valuable asset that can be protected under the tort of passing off. In choosing a name, it is wise to consider a name that is distinctive. In Nigeria single location, owner-operated restaurants often bear the name of their founder or chef. But to name a restaurant SEUN’S, for example, is to create something that would be virtually impossible to protect, it is advisable to come up with a creative name.

A strong trademark is virtually mandatory for restaurants and other members of the fast food industry. A local restaurant should, like any prudent business man at a minimum, conduct a comprehensive name/trademark search in order to avoid choosing a name similar to any known competitor or similar business. Geographical indicators can be used to name restaurants as can be seen in “AMALA SHITTA”, “OBALENDE SUYA” “SONOLA AMALA”

Menus

Instead of using generic descriptions like “ofada rice” or “Agege Bread”, restaurateurs or fast food owners can choose signature names for their dishes. These special names can then be protected as trademarks and can be used to build value for the owner through licensing, franchising and merchandising etc. In addition, a menu that is an original creation, combining photographs, illustrations, images, and descriptions of the wonderful and unique Nigerian dishes, is protectable under copyright law In Nigeria.

Recipes

Often recipes are protectable trade secrets. A “trade secret” is defined as any product, operating formula, pattern, device or other compilation of information which is used in a business, which gets its economic value from being kept secret, and gives the business a competitive advantage. They can be protected in the following ways; Identify your company’s trade secrets, Develop and codify a trade secret protection policy for your company, limit disclosures of trade secrets and other confidential information only on a “need to know” basis to chefs and managers, require appropriate parties to sign written confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements, require appropriate parties to sign non-competition and non-solicitation agreements and require appropriate parties to assign rights to the business with respect to inventions and work-product arising in the course of their relationship with the business.

However there are at least two schools of thought as regards trade secrets. The first school of thought states that ideas are ten Naira a dozen; so they want to share their innovations and don’t want to try to keep things for themselves, they just execute better and get to the market place quicker, or the second school of thought which believes that you should treat your stuff as proprietary, and use available legal means to protect it: e.g., nondisclosure agreement; employment agreements; and generally limit access to information.

The right approach will depend on a lot of factors, but having an approach that is well-considered and that you can clearly express and codify will help with maximizing returns on your trade secrets.

Use of Take away products as a Brand Extension

Nigerian restaurants can begin to package and sell signature products outside their business premises such as take away packs, ingredients, bottled water, t-shirts, face caps, cooking aprons, gloves and dish ware.

The restaurant’s furnishing and layout

In this writers opinion, restaurant décor and layout as with all ideas and concepts can be protected under industrial designs provided they are distinctive. Blue tablecloths and blue wash hand basins for an Ibadan-themed Amala restaurant will probably not be protected. Nigerian restaurants can go ahead to post signs stating that no photography is permitted on their premises, however in a social media-driven world, this may be illusory and very difficult to enforce.

Websites and Social Media: Connecting with Customers

There is a need to ensure that company websites (internal and external) do not contain information which you want to be able to classify as a trade secret or confidential or proprietary. Websites need to be reviewed regularly to ensure such information is not placed at risk.  Restaurant owners must address what information employees can discuss or post on blogs, and prohibit the disclosure of confidential information and trade secrets.  It might be prudent to monitor blogging activity frequently, and take steps to prohibit or stop trade secret disclosures.

 

Consequences of Failing to Register Trademark/other Intellectual property

The absence of trademark registration may limit your expansion into new territories. Trademarks are tied to a geographical location; without a registration, your rights may be limited and you can get boxed in if a third-party registers the same name you use.

In addition it also means you have no obvious asset. You may have trademark rights based on prior use (at common law), but banks and other financial institutions are more likely to reckon with trademark registration as a tangible evidence of an intangible asset.

If you want to franchise your business model, not having a trademark registration is a significant risk and your franchisee may just go ahead and register your trademark in their own name and then go ahead to rail road you out of the market.

 

Building Brand Value with Intellectual Property Registration and Enforcement Strategies

In June 2007, Rebecca Charles, chef-owner of Pearl Oyster Bar (“Pearl”) in New York City’s Greenwich Village, sued her former sous chef, Ed McFarland, now chef and part owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. In her complaint, Charles alleged that McFarland had pirated Pearl’s menu, recipes, dish presentations, décor, “look and feel,” all of which Charles believed amounted to a flagrant misappropriation of both her and Pearl’s intellectual property. The detail that reportedly irritated Charles most was a dish on McFarland’s menu called “Ed’s Caesar.”

According to Charles, McFarland had copied her own Caesar salad recipe, made with English muffin croutons and a coddled egg dressing, which Charles maintained was a signature dish at Pearl.

The culinary and restaurant industries billed Charles’s suit, which settled out of court on undisclosed terms in April 2008,as among the first of its kind. Chefs and restaurateurs had invoked intellectual property concepts to defend particular aspects of their restaurants, but most had stopped short of filing suits, and few had attempted to argue intellectual property theft in such totality. While Charles maintained that her case was about protecting her restaurant as a whole and not about laying claim to a type of food, her lawsuit sparked fierce debate in the culinary world, particularly with regard to intellectual property rights and cuisine itself.

Intellectual Property Registration is tangible evidence of an intangible asset. It is proof that the goodwill exists. Anytime you make an intangible asset, like goodwill and trademark rights, concrete it helps people understand the value.

Registering your intellectual property is not going to automatically prevent others from encroaching on your territory. Intellectual Property owners are obligated to protect their own right using governmental apparatus and applicable laws, well that is part of the reason you pay taxes.

Part of any good Intellectual Property protection strategy should include some budget to properly commercialize their IP in other to maximise profit and a willingness to fight any IP infringers.

            Conclusion

Simply owning intellectual property rights does not generate money.
To produce income the owners of these rights must exploit them financially through various types of commercial agreements including but not limited to licensing arrangements and/or
assignments of rights.
In a sense, all of these commercial agreements are an attempt to turn intellectual property into intellectual capital that will then increase your cash flow

Olufola Wusu Esq.

copyright © 2012

Principal Counsel Megathos Law Practice

Olufola Wusu is a Solicitor & Advocate and Intellectual Property consultant

He can be reached at folawusu@yahoo.com

Legal Disclaimer

by Olufola Wusu Esq

(1) No advice

This note contains general information about [law and legal practice]. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

(2) No warranties

The legal information on this article is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the legal information on this article will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the legal information on this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(3) Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

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Filed under Intellectual Property

The Age of Nigerian Planes

http://www.planespotters.net/Production_List/Country/Nigeria

The list is from the above website, it is an aviation database with plenty of  information on over thirty thousand aircrafts.

Aero Contractors Current Fleet

5N-BIZ 24558 1845 Boeing 737-4B7 01-02-2007 N436 22.2 Years
5N-BJA 24873 1931 Boeing 737-4B7 05-2007 N446 lsf Jet Partners LLC 21.7 Years
5N-BJO 534 De Havilland Canada DHC-8-311Q Dash 8 Y50 23-02-2007 C-FLGJ lsd 12.9 Years
5N-BKQ 26695 2423 Boeing 737-522 28-08-2008 VP-BSW lsf GECAS 19.4 Years
5N-BKR 26699 2485 Boeing 737-522 14-08-2008 VP-BSX lsf GECAS 19 Years
5N-BLC 26692 2421 Boeing 737-522 26-09-2008 VP-BSV 19.4 Years
5N-BLD 26675 2345 Boeing 737-522 10-08-2008 VP-BSU lsf GECAS 19.9 Years
5N-BLE 26672 2343 Boeing 737-522 02-04-2009 VP-BSQ 19.9 Years
5N-BLG 25387 2179 Boeing 737-522 28-08-2011 VP-BTI 20.5 Years
5N-BLH 25383 2146 Boeing 737-522 Due VP-BTG lsf WFBN 20.7 Years
5N-BOB 24232 2060 Boeing 737-42C 26-03-2012 EI-CWE lsf AWAS 21 Years
5N-BOC 24814 2270 Boeing 737-42C 17-10-2011 EI-CWF lsf AWAS 20.2 Years

Air  Current Fleet
5N-VNC 29338 3114 Boeing 737-33V C16Y100 02-06-2010 G-EZYN lsf GECAS 13 Years

5N-VND 29337 3113 Boeing 737-33V C16Y100 02-06-2010 G-EZYM lsf GECAS 13 Years
5N-VNE 29340 3121 Boeing 737-33V C16Y100 02-06-2010 G-EZYP lsf GECAS 12.8 Years
5N-VNF 29341 3125 Boeing 737-33V C16Y100 08-07-2010 OE-IAF lsf CAT 12.7 Years
5N-VNG 29342 3127 Boeing 737-33V C16Y100 02-06-2010 OE-IAI lsf GECAS 12.6 Years
5N-VNH 19000210 Embraer ERJ-190AR (ERJ-190-100 IGW) C12Y84 02-06-2010 PT-SGT
5N-VNI 19000226 Embraer ERJ-190AR (ERJ-190-100 IGW) C12Y84 02-06-2010 PT-SHM

5N-VNJ 28558 2876 Boeing 737-36N C16Y100 16-08-2010 N542MS lsf GECAS 15.2 Years
5N-VNK 27469 2864 Boeing 737-33A C16Y100 15-11-2010 N901AS lsf AerSale Inc 15.3 Years
5N-VNL 27910 2873 Boeing 737-33A C16Y100 15-11-2010 N902AS lsf AerSale Inc 15.2 Years
5N-VNM 25375 2598 Boeing 737-4Q8 03-08-2011 TC-TJD lsf ILFC 18.2 Years
SU-GCI 696 Airbus A330-243 C24Y244 13-05-2012 F-WWYR lsf EgyptAir Papa Do 6.7 Years

Arik Air Current Fleet
5N-BKU 4207 De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 C10Y62 14-10-2009 C-FPPU Christopher
5N-BKV 4219 De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 C10Y62 06-11-2009 C-FSRN Cyprian
5N-JEA 15058 Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900ER C10Y65 02-10-2006 C-FHRH
5N-JEB 15059 Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900ER C10Y65 02-10-2006 C-FHRK

5N-JEC 15054 Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900ER C10Y65 02-10-2006 C-FGNB
5N-JED 15114 Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900ER C10Y65 31-03-2007 C-FMEP 5.4 Years
5N-MJC 33932 2234 Boeing 737-7BD(WL) C12Y119 14-06-2007 N1795B Martin 5.2 Years
5N-MJD 36073 2248 Boeing 737-7BD(WL) C12Y119 14-06-2007 N1787B Michael 5.2 Years
5N-MJE 34761 2401 Boeing 737-7GL(WL) Y149 25-11-2007 N737AV McTighe 4.7 Years
5N-MJF 34762 2427 Boeing 737-7GL(WL) Y149 04-12-2007 N737BV Queen of Angels 4.6 Years
5N-MJG 33944 2576 Boeing 737-7BD(WL) C12Y119 27-05-2008 N346AT Claudiana 4.2 Years
5N-MJH 36719 2589 Boeing 737-7BD(WL) C12Y119 27-05-2008 N347AT Margaret 4.2 Years
5N-MJI 28640 799 Boeing 737-76N(WL) C12Y112 04-02-2009 N740AL lsf GECAS City of Freetown 11.3 Years
5N-MJJ 28641 809 Boeing 737-76N(WL) C12Y112 04-02-2009 N741AL lsf GECAS 11.2 Years
5N-MJK 30830 855 Boeing 737-76N(WL) C12Y112 09-04-2009 N742AL lsf GECAS Ville De Niamey 11.1 Years
5N-MJN 35638 2789 Boeing 737-86N(WL) C16Y132 10-03-2009 N1796B lsf GECAS Eddington 3.4 Years
5N-MJO 35640 2819 Boeing 737-86N(WL) C16Y132 29-06-2009 N358MT lsf GECAS Augustine 3.3 Years

5N-MJP 38970 3030 Boeing 737-8JE(WL) C20Y126 28-10-2009 N1787B Sultan of Sokoto 2.8 Years
5N-MJQ 38971 3065 Boeing 737-8JE(WL) C20Y126 17-02-2010 City of Calabar 2.7 Years
CS-TFW 910 Airbus A340-542 C36Y201 11-12-2008 F-WJKH lsf Hi Fly Our Lady of Perpetual Help 4 Years
CS-TFX 912 Airbus A340-542 C36Y201 29-04-2009 F-WJKI lsf Hi Fly Captain Bob Hayes 3.9 Years

Chanchangi Airlines Current Fleet
5N-BEV 22658 861 Boeing 737-217(A) 10-12-2004 C-GCPZ 30.2 Years
5N-BIF 23043 972 Boeing 737-282(A) C12Y88 21-11-2005 N233TM 29 Years
5N-BIG 23044 973 Boeing 737-282(A) 28-12-2005 N344TM 29 Years
5N-BIH 23046 981 Boeing 737-282(A) 28-12-2005 N789TM 22.9 Years
5N-BMB 25079 2016 Boeing 737-3J6 03-2009 B-2536 21.3 Years

5N-BMC 25089 2027 Boeing 737-3Z0 03-2009 B-2537 21.2 Years

 Air Current Fleet
5N-DEV 49947 1900 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 C12Y128 11-05-2012 N934JM 20.9 Years
5N-JAI 53016 1850 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 C12Y128 21-08-2009 N968AS 21.2 Years
5N-SAI 53018 1779 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 C12Y128 30-08-2008 N943AS 21.7 Years
5N-SRI 53020 1789 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 C12Y128 04-08-2008 N947AS 21.6 Years

First Nation Airways Current Fleet (Formerly Belview Airline)
N-FNA 409 Airbus A320-212 07-04-2011 N409AG lsf ACG 19.3 Years
5N-FNB 466 Airbus A320-212 08-04-2011 N466AG lsf ACG 18.2 Years
5N-FNC 497 Airbus A320-212 10-04-2011 N997AG lsf ACG 17.7 Years

IRS Airlines Current Fleet
5N-CEO 11295 Fokker F100 20-08-2004 N860 Hajiya Babba 22.3 Years
5N-HIR 11498 Fokker F100 22-01-2009 G-CFBU 18.4 Years
5N-SAT11293 Fokker F100 22-12-2010 PH-MJO 22.3 Years
5N-SIK 11286 Fokker F100 16-07-2010 SE-DUU 22.5 Years
5N-SMR 11291 Fokker F100 02-03-2010 SE-DUV 22.4 Years

Kabo Air Current Fleet
5N-DKB 23548 644 Boeing 747-251B 22-10-2008 N637US 26.1 Years
5N-JJJ 19766 111 Boeing 747-136 01-2001 G-AWNF 41.3 Years

5N-JRM 23549 651 Boeing 747-251B 25-11-2008 N638US 25.9 Years
5N-PDP 20842 238 Boeing 747-238B 17-07-2001 G-VJFK 38.1 Years
5N-RRR 19765 109 Boeing 747-136 01-2001 G-AWNE 41.3 Years
Max Air Current Fleet
5N-BMG 23638 658 Boeing 747-346 27-07-2009 JA8177 25.7 Years
5N-DBM 23968 693 Boeing 747-346 12-11-2008 JA8184 24.5 Years
5N-DDK 23967 692 Boeing 747-346 20-08-2009 JA8183 24.5 Years
5N-HMB 25067 857 Boeing 747-438 10-2011 VH-OJK 21.1 Years
5N-MBB 24018 694 Boeing 747-346 22-04-2009 JA8186 24.4 Years
M-ANGA 14501086 Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy VIP 06-01-2012 VQ-BLU

Overland Airways Current Fleet

5N-BCR 031 ATR 42-320 04-03-2005 F-WQNR cvtd -300 25.6 Years
N-BND 363 ATR 42-320 27-10-2010 5H-PAP 18.7 Years

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SAVING AVIATION- (As it appeared in Thisday Lawyer 12/06/12) http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/saving-aviation/117847/

On the 3rd of June 2012 a Passenger plane, MD-83 operated by Dana airlines crashed into houses in Iju Ishaga, an area in Lagos. The crash killed all the 153 people on board including the crew members. My friend Christopher Okocha was on that flight, he was a loving husband and father of one. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Air Transport Safety

Air transport is probably the safest means of transportation and the most regulated industry in the world.

Safety within aviation circles can be defined as the management of risks to harm or damage to property to an acceptable level through a process of hazard identification, risk management, remedial action planning and continuous improvement. The acceptable level is usually determined by the regulatory authority in aviation.

The prevalence of plane crashes in the Nigerian Air space has exposed the need for a safety management system in the Nigerian Aviation Industry.

A Safety Management System (SMS) is a systematic, explicit and comprehensive process for the management of safety risks that integrates operations and technical systems with financial and human resource management for all activities related to any organisation.

 

Delayed Rescue operations

Reports have it that for about a quarter of an hour, the ill-fated plane was enmeshed in rubble with trapped passengers screaming for help. Besides when help came it was disorganised with no mention of air ambulances evacuating people!

 

Governmental Influence and policy formulation

There is an urgent need for the Federal Government in conjunction with all stakeholders to develop of a National Aviation Policy that will drive the aviation industry. It can be a 5-year or 10-year plan that can be reviewed periodically.

A National Aviation Policy will guide lawyers and government officials in assessing existing legislation and signing international agreements. In drafting a National Aviation Policy we need to examine the aviation policies of the US, the EU and other African countries. This would help us to decide what level of protection our local airlines need and how best we can go about protecting our economic interest.

 

Review of the Open Skies Arrangement and Bilateral Aviation Services Agreements.

Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) is an air operation agreement which Nigeria signs with countries that have their airlines operate into the country and from which agreements Nigeria receives royalties. There is the need for a complete review of the Open Skies Arrangement and Bilateral Aviation Services Agreements. The Arik Air debacle has revealed that the BASA’s are not particularly favourable to Nigerian flag carriers.

The need for round pegs in round holes

We need aviation experts running the aviation industry in Nigeria, we can’t afford the politicisation of the appointment of key personnel in the Ministry of Aviation and the regulatory bodies in aviation, and this is because lapses in air travel regulation often result in tragic loss of life.

Public Sector branding in aviation

The regulatory bodies overseeing aviation in Nigeria have made concerted efforts to properly brand their organisations through seminars, workshops etc. However trust in the competency of the regulator is undermined every time an accident occurs. Airplane crashes have far-reaching effects as was seen when the market capitalisation of the listed equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange fell by N106 billion or 1.5% per cent to close at N6.899trillion down from the N7.005 trillion it opened with on Monday 4/6/2012.It is important to note that public sector branding is ineffective especially when systemic failures are so critical that they result in wanton loss of life and property.

 

The need to restrict multi designation in Nigeria

Multi-designation is the assigning of foreign airlines to operate from more than one airport in Nigeria. It deprives local carriers a percentage of its local passenger market; as foreign airlines go to different airports to pick their passengers for flights to their destinations instead of local airlines bringing passengers to one airport for the foreign airlines.

Government participation in Aviation

All over the world more governments are actively participating in aviation.

 

The American Experience

A look at the American government’s Policy would reveal a strong protectionist tendency.

The Fly America policy compels all beneficiaries of air travel paid for by the American government, to use only American airlines with very few exceptions.

There is ample bankruptcy protection for American airlines, and almost all major American airlines have received bankruptcy protection at least once since September 11 2001.

The American government gave a total of $15B in aid to its airlines in the aftermath of September 11 2001.

Middle East experience

Emirates was established in 1985, it is now one of the youngest and strongest carriers in the Middle East. It is owned and funded by the government of Dubai. It has a viable, low-cost business model, which enables it to offer superior in-flight and ground facilities and free visas.  These incentives are offered at the same price competing airlines normally charge for the flight ticket alone without any other benefits. The government of Dubai also has an important role by drawing investors with a zero corporate tax policy to set up businesses in Dubai.

Other Challenges in Nigerian Aviation

Better Consumer protection

NCAA has Consumer Protection Units in all the airports, which have been upgraded to a full-fledged directorate.  Cases of harassment and ill-treatment of passengers by airline operators are now being addressed by the NCAA.

Airport facilities /Better access roads to our airports

Airport users all over Nigeria have decried the dirty state of its infrastructure especially the airport corridor and toilets. This is shameful as our airport is the primary first hand impression foreigners have of Nigeria. We urgently need better access roads to our airports.
Insurance compensation

The Montreal Convention has been domesticated into the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act 2006, which stipulates that airlines should pay victims of air accidents a minimum insurance compensation package from starting with $10,000 and a maximum of $100,000 per head.

The need to maintain Category one Status

Category One certification that was earned by Nigeria is evidence that our aviation sector has the potential to be world class. It has been alleged that the Dana aircraft that crashed Sunday revealed that, the plane – MD 83aircaft has a history of malfunctioning before it was re-sold to the Nigerian airline in 2009.

There is a policy that stipulates that Nigerian airline operators should not fly aircraft that are more than 22 years old. Despite this, investigations have shown that some Nigerian airlines still          operate aircraft that are more than 22 years old (http://www.planespotters.net/Production_List/Country/Nigeria ).

Conclusion

There is a glaring need for Government to act quickly to restructure the aviation industry and save it from possible collapse, perhaps Mr President should act with the same speed and determination it has deployed in forwarding the bill renaming Unilag in addressing the problems facing the aviation industry, insecurity, the reinstatement of Justice Salami and the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill that has been dragging for so many years.

May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

Olufola Wusu Esq. copyright © 2012

Principal Counsel Megathos Law Practice

Olufola Wusu is a Solicitor & Advocate and Intellectual Property consultant

He can be reached at folawusu@yahoo.com

Legal Disclaimer

by Olufola Wusu Esq

(1) No advice

This note contains general information about [law and legal practice]. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

(2) No warranties

The legal information on this article is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the legal information on this article will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the legal information on this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(3) Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

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A-Z OF CONTRACT REVIEW IN NIGERIA


A Contract is a Story…

A contract is a story that covers the agreement between two or more people.

Standard Definition of a Contract

A contract is an agreement entered into voluntarily by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing, though contracts can be made orally.

Transaction Documentation

Transaction documentation can encompass contract review, transaction implementation agreements and MOU.

Benefits of Contract Review

Firstly, it forces consideration by the client and, ultimately by the other parties, of the issues involved in a particular transaction.

Contract Review Process

Regardless of who drafted the contract, it must be reviewed.

Policy Considerations

Benefits of using a Precedent

At the very least you can simply change the details and you then have a contract. Voila!

Agreements and Your Rights

An agreement allows a rights holder to make money from his property by entering into a contract for product use or sale. Once you have a handle on your property, you can create your agreement.

What Do I Include in an Agreement?

In business, a written agreement is a must. There is no hard and fast rule to giving someone an agreement for property or other use.

 

Agreement Scope

Revenue from Your Product

Good legal writing

 

Organization

There is generally no requirement for a contract under Nigerian Law to follow a particular format or layout.

 

First things first

 

Avoid repetition

Draft the Agreement in a consistent manner

In essence do your research well.

Be clear

 

Conclusion

Many issues come up when drafting or reviewing an agreement. Laws relating to the subject matter of the contract need to be reviewed so as to avoid any clauses being declared void by the Courts of law. An attorney can provide invaluable help with drafting your agreement and enforcing it.

Olufola Wusu Esq. copyright © 2012

Counsel Megathos Law Practice

Olufola Wusu is a Solicitor & Advocate

He can be reached at <a href="mailto:folawusu@hotmail.com

Legal Disclaimer

by Olufola Wusu Esq

(1) No advice

This note contains general information about [law and legal practice]. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

(2) No warranties

The legal information on this article is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the legal information on this article will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the legal information on this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(3) Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

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THE NIGERIAN PATENT SYSTEM AS INFORMATION SOURCE IN NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.


In most developing nations (including Nigeria) indigenous technological expertise is not sufficiently developed to meet local requirements. To meet their developmental needs, these countries rely heavily on the transfer to them of foreign technology by more developed nations. Bambo Adewopo, Developments and Reform, Nigeria’s commercial laws Essays in honour of Chief Dr Chris Ogunbanjo O.F.R, (Nelson, 1st edition, 2005, page80) Lanre Fagbohun and Bambo Adewopo.

Such transfer can be effected through foreign direct investments, joint venture agreements, licensing and franchising agreements or other similar schemes:

The Patent System and technology transfer

It has been asserted that the transfer of technology involves and can only be achieved by indigenous inventiveness by Nigerians arising from access to and knowledge of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

A viable patent system is meant to contribute to this process in many ways. Firstly, the patent registry is enriched through the wealth of information about new products and processes which are disclosed in the registration of patents, thereby encouraging the transfer of technological information. Harvard Law Review vol. 118 April 2005. This is made possible due to the disclosure function of the patent system. In addition, an interested indigenous entrepreneur can link up with appropriate right owners to procure a license to enable him exploit the invention. Bambo Adewopo, Developments and Reform, Nigeria’s commercial law s Essays in honour of Chief Dr Chris Ogunbanjo O.F.R, (Nelson, 1st edition, 2005, page79) Lanre Fagbaohun and Bambo Adewopo

The purpose of a patent license is to authorize the license to use an invention protected by a patent and it also provides authorization to the licensee to use an invention protected by a patent and it also provides authorization to the licensee and grants a set of exclusive rights including the use of the invention for manufacturing, selling or placing it on the market. Technology Transfer also called Transfer of Technology (TOT) and Technology Commercialisation, is the process of skill transferring, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among  governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services. It is closely related to (and may arguably be considered a subset of) knowledge transfer. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_transfer).  It often involves the use of Technology brokers who are people who have discovered how to bridge the disparate worlds and apply scientific concepts or processes to new situations or circumstances. Hargadon, Andrew. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge for Business Leaders , August 4, 2003.

The Nigeria Technology policy looks beyond the mere encouragement of technology flow to Nigeria but it also seeks to assist Nigerian enterprises to identify and select only foreign technology which is suited to local needs and requirements, and on the best contractual terms and conditions. In implementing the National Science and Technology polices the Federal Government of Nigeria established the Federal Ministry of science and Technology and various institutions including the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion. These institutions have substantive mandates to ensure that science and technology are used to resolve socio-economic problems arising from the attendant problems that characterize under development.

Terms such as export restriction or prohibition clauses, by which production and sale of the patented product, or product obtained by the patented process is restricted only to the country of the transferee of the technology, these include clauses, where the transferor of the patented technology restricts the procurement of certain materials needed for explanation of the invention from sources other than itself. We also have “no challenge clauses”, where the transferee is precluded from challenging the validity of the patent under which the technology is transferred and restrictions on research and development of the transferred technology.

This last restriction inhibits local creativity in adapting foreign technology to suit the nation’s peculiar requirements and directly counters the objectives of the Technology policy.  However, The Patents and Designs Act prohibit the inclusion of such clauses in patent license agreements.

Section 23(3) provides that any clause in such a license is null and void in so far as it imposes on the licensee in the industrial and commercial field restrictions which do not derive from the rights conferred by the patent or are unnecessary for safeguarding those rights. The problem is that the registrar is not authorized to examine applications for registration of these agreements, to ensure compliance with Section 23(3) before granting the license, and in view of the limitations imposed on the Registrar’s power of examination under Section 4(2) it is possible this duty does not exist. The proviso to Section 23(3) substantially negates the efficacy of that section. As it permits the inclusion of clauses dealing with the following matters.

 

Limitations concerning the scope, extent, territory or duration of the exploitation of the patent of the quality or quantity of the product in connection with which with patent may be exploited;

 

Obligations imposed on the licensee to abstain from all acts capable of prejudicing the validity of the patent; and limitations justified by the interest of the licensor in the technically efficient exploitation of the subject of the patent.

It has been argued that these three exceptions can easily be utilized to justify export prohibition clause, no challenge clauses and tie-in-clauses respectively, with negative implications for indigenous technology development. Bambo Adewopo, Developments and Reform, Nigeria’s commercial laws Essays in honour of Chief Dr Chris Ogunbanjo O.F.R, (Nelson, 1st edition, 2005, page80) Lanre Fagbohun and Bambo Adewopo.

The aim of acquiring technology is to and the rapid industrialization of Nigeria which is a major objective of the government as a means to the attainment of higher levels of well-being of the people. The advancement of science and the development of a technological base are essential conditions of industrial growth. DR. (Mrs) Nasir “THE ROLE OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT” Modern Practice Journal of Finance and Investment Law MPJFIL vol. 6 No 3-4

 

DEVELOPMENT OF INDIGENOUS CAPABILITIES

Within the ambit of technology development, the patent system has three main objectives.

First, it serves as an instrument of justice to the inventors to reward his ingenuity, and enable him profit from his creativity without hindrance from imitators.Some people see the patent system as creating a social contract whereby the states as representing the community, grants a monopoly to the inventor to profit by his invention in return for his making the product available for general use during the terms of patent protection and for making the secret public so that all can exploit it when the patent expires.

To most, the system would seem simply to protect a piece of personal property, namely the product of the inventor’s intellectual effort, from theft. Paul Marett, Intellectual Property, Law London Sweet and Maxwell, 1996 at Pp. 1-2

The inventor of a useful product is a benefactor to his society because his invention constitutes an addition to the sum of human prosperity. By securing his title through its recognition and protection, the law seeks to encourage inventive activity and innovation in all spheres of human activity. The second objective is the enhancement of development through increased inventiveness and innovative activities resulting in the availability of new and improved products as well as more efficient processes which help to develop society in the industrial, technological and other sectors.

In order to encourage innovation, NOTAP renders support services to encourage innovation, NOTAP renders support services to transform, innovation which is commercializable into products goods and services. It also renders technology development services to inventors by advising and assisting to upgrade some R&D results or inventions submitted for patenting in order to meet the standard required by the Trade Marks and Patents Registry. NOTAP also produces industrial project profiles for potential entrepreneurs for the development for the development of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) Section 3(2) of the Act

Thirdly, the patent system, by its requirement of clear and complete disclosure, serves as an information source to relevant industries. As other inventors and researchers can thus freely draw on, and utilize such information to further improve existing products and processes. The most commonly offered economic justification for the patent system is that it preserves the incentive for inventors to create, develop, and commercialize new technologies and innovations. Economists and legal commentators often invoke a second economic rationale for the patent system however: that it “serves to disseminate technological information, and that this accelerates the growth of productivity in the economy.

It is clear that the patent system can catalyse the attainment of technology and general socio-economic development. To translate this potential to practical utility, however, the patent law must be properly synchronized with the objective of the national technology policy, which is the strengthening of the technological base of the nation through the enhancement of national capability in science and technology.

The disclosure function of the patent system is premised on three assumptions. The first assumption is that the patent system encourages the disclosure of information that would otherwise remain secret.

 

The second assumption is that inventors look through the patent records searching for new ideas and technologies.

 

The third assumption is that innovators can find valuable information in the patent records. Bambo Adewopo: Developments and Reform, Nigeria’s commercial laws Essays in honour of Chief Dr Chris Ogunbanjo O.F.R, (Nelson, 1st edition, 2005, page86) Lanre Fagbohun and Bambo Adewopo

There is a need to strengthen our patent laws to enhance the implementation of the National Industrial and Technology Policies. Also, the patents Registry should be properly equipped and staffed to perform the technical, administrative, logistics and other functions required of patent offices worldwide.

 

The Efficacy of the System as an Information Source

A major advantage which the patent system has over trade secrets as a form of protection of technological know-how is the disclosure requirements of the system which ensure its potential efficacy as an important source of scientific information. William M A Landes and Richard A Posner, the Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law (2003) page294

An important secondary purpose of the patent system, however, is to encourage disclosure of information about new technologies and innovations. Patents may help accelerate the process of cumulative innovations because they encourage inventors to patent and disclose small technological advances, allowing everyone in the field to build upon one another’s work continually. William M A Landes and Richard A Posner, the Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law (2003) page294

The patent system also theoretically prevents wasteful duplication of the original inventor’s research because the patents not only disclose how to make and use the claimed invention, but also notify the public of the patentee’s exclusive rights to that technology. William M A Landes and Richard A Posner, the Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law (2003) page294. By virtue of Section 3(2) (a) of the Act, in applying for a patent, a description of the relevant at the relevant information must be submitted. A description must be full, and disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete to enable it to be put into effect by a person skilled in the art or held of knowledge to which the invention relates. Section 3(2) of the Act. By virtue of this provision, the patent register has the innate capacity of becoming a most valuable repository of scientific and technological information on the latest technology worldwide. Bambo Adewopo, Developments and Reform, Nigeria’s commercial laws Essays in honour of Chief Dr Chris Ogunbanjo O.F.R, (Nelson, 1st edition, 2005, page86) Lanre Fagbohun and Bambo Adewopo

The efficacy of the Nigerian Patent system in this regard is however severely limited in two respects. The Registrar is expressly precluded from examining the question of whether the description, which had been filed in respect of the patent application, satisfies the requirements of completeness and clarity under Section 3(2) of the Act. In the absence of such monitoring, patentees either wilfully or negligently flout this requirement. Rather than setting out precise and best methods of manufacture, they may give inadequate disclosure or opaque disclosures. Where a patentee does not disclose clearly and completely in compliance with Section 3(2) the available remedy is to challenge such a patent as an invalid one under the provisions of Section 9 of the Act. Where an indigenous inventor is unsure of the profitability of his invention, he may not devote his time or resources to pursue legal action for this purpose. Even where a compulsory license is granted, the licensee is unlikely be able to practically work the invention, without support or assistance from the patentee, this support is unlikely under those circumstances.

NEED FOR AN EXAMINATION SYSTEM: There is a pertinent need to introduce an examining system which assesses patent applications and ensures compliance with the disclosure requirements before the grant of a patent. This system will require skilled personnel. It would be good for the patent office to work in conjunction with university research terms and or any other competent body who will provide the required technical and specialized services necessary for the efficient performance of this function.

 

ACCESSIBILITY OF INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE REGISTER OF PATENTS: Another limitation to the patent system as a source of information dissemination is the question of accessibility of information contained in the Register of Patents. The difficulty encountered in obtaining needed information and questionable value of what is retrieved, combine together to strip society of the benefit of the patent system as a fountain of scientific information, thereby limiting the effectiveness of the system as a vehicle for technological development.

NOTAP has been active in this regard with the creation of the Technical information Bulletin first published in January, 1996. The bulletin is a repository of technical information about sources and types of technology including details of expired patents when can be freely exploited. The World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO) has assisted NOTAP in establishing a Patent Information and Documentation Centre (PIDC). The Federal Government has also strengthened NOTAP by deploying appropriate skilled personnel to manage the (PIDC). The centre has a deposit of over one million technology in patent document stored in CD-ROMS. It has planned an on-line linkage with WIPO in Geneva. The PIDC also has the GLOBAL PAT CD-ROMS, which has made it possible to access technology information available in patent documents globally, specifically, the publications from 1971 to year 2000. Funke Araba “INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REGIME, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND INNOVATION CULTURE. PRE REQUISITES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA,”MODUS INTERNATINAL: LAW and BUSINESS QUARTERLY Dec, 2001 vol. 6, No.4

Small and medium scale enterprises will be among the beneficiaries of a well-run patent system in Nigeria as they will be able to avail themselves of the benefits of  a viable patent system at no extra cost.

Conclusion

One of the key issues often neglected with transfer of technology is how to construct a receptor to capture the transferred technology and ensure that it is fully internalized to enable it blossom and grow to create similar new technologies on its own within a given time frame without external support. It is only then that technology can be said to be transferred. Without a deliberate receptor programme, technology transfer will continue to be by chance. Nigeria’s national R&D spending is very low with little verifiable statistics and little or no results to show.

There must be massive increase in R&D expenditure to yield appreciable results in innovation. Funding for R&D development would not come solely from government but it needs to create the enabling environment for research and development to thrive which will in turn birth innovation, for one it needs to solve the problem of epileptic power supply. This is a call for our nation and the need for all of us to work together to ensure that a vibrant “Innovative Culture” is established.

Olufola Wusu Esq.

Copyright © 2012

 

Counsel Megathos Law Practice

Olufola Wusu is a Solicitor & Advocate and Intellectual Property consultant

He can be reached at folawusu@yahoo.com

Legal Disclaimer

by Olufola Wusu Esq

(1) No advice

This note contains general information about [law and legal practice]. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

(2) No warranties

The legal information on this article is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the legal information on this article will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the legal information on this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(3) Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

                                 

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