How to Make it "ILLEGAL" for anyone to steal your business ideas.

The first thing and entrepreneur needs to think of after crystallizing an original idea is "How to protect your Business?". Not with sword and shields and guns to prevent vandals this time, but making it illegal for other people to take your idea straight out of your playbook and create a startup with it.

Notice the word illegal? That means using the government in its infinite resources to protect yourself and business from being "vandalized" by the rest of the world. There are various "written laws" created to protect small and large businesses alike, but as the title goes "Which of this registrations best protect your business and why?".

There are three main acts of the law established to protect business from copycats and today we are going to be discuss them and the extent of protection they can provide. Think of it as a shopping guide to help you choose the best boots for the path you've chosen.


A trademark is a legal provision to protect your business from graphic copycats. A trademark protects a word , phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the product of one business from another. Trademarks are mostly used to protect your chosen, logo and graphics for a product.

A trademark is become an asset when registered, making it possible for the owner to sell/license the use to somebody else or take legal action against anybody who uses it without his permission. It also allows the owner to legally put the Ò symbol next to the brand. The legislation, which governs the registration of trademarks, is the Trade Marks Act (and the Trade Mark Regulations made pursuant to it.)

To get all its protection however, you need to register your trademark at the office of the Registrar of Trademarks in the Trademarks, Patent and Design Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry of Industry.

Everything that makes a customer physically identify your product can be trademarked. Trademarks however, does not protect your content or modus operandi of production. So if you're doing something new in an innovative way,  you may want to read this article to its end to find out what kind protection you may need and where to get it.



Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC) under the Copyright Act is charged with the duty and power to protect and enforce copyright laws on products that are sufficiently original in their production

The Copyright Act provides the owner with exclusive rights to the sale and distribution of his product. However, he may choose to transfer this rights by legal means to other persons in which case the receiver becomes the copyright owner. The absolute exclusiveness of this act however, has limitations.

Nonetheless, the Copyright Act protects Literary works, Musical works, Artistic works, Cinematograph works, sound recording and broadcast expressed in writing, painting/printing and recording whether it is registered under the voluntary copyright registration scheme or not.


A patent is the most exclusive right a business owner can have over a business, it is only granted on innovative inventions. It grants an innovator the right to singularly exploit the commercial/financial gains of the invention. Patent rights are however temporary and are only granted on innovative ideas that can be used in one known industry or the other.

The legislation that guides the grant of patent is the Patents and Designs Act and Patents can be registered at the office of the Registrar of Patents and Copyrights, Patent and Design Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry of Industry.

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