News from the Manor Vol 5

  1. AVRS commences licensing of users of Audio – Visual Content: In line with its mandate, the Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) has begun issuing licenses to individuals and organisations for the commercial use of works belonging to its members. These include hotels, advertising agencies, telecommunication and transport companies, airlines and relevant airport facilities, fast food confectioneries, hospitals, and banks. More details here and here. Contact details of AVRS can be found on our directory page here.
  2. MTN responds to NCC’s allegations: These are troubled times for MTN Communications Nigeria. Early February, NCC’s Director of Prosecution, Abdul Ter Kohol alleged that Mr. Ferdi Moolman (CEO, MTN) had been evading service of court papers and refused to honour the invitation of NCC investigators. MTN Executive, Amina Oyagbola, however recently pointed out that Moolman was at no material time to the circumstances, the CEO of MTN. She also added that the matter has been resolved amicably. MTN is being sued by Dovie Okson Omenuwoma for unauthorised use of some of his songs as caller tunes and ringtones.
  3. Accession by OAPI* to the Singapore Treaty: Following the deposit of OAPI’s instrument of accession to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, the Treaty entered into force with respect to OAPI on February 13, 2016. With the accession comes a harmonisation of administrative procedures. Nevertheless, In accordance with Article 29 of the Singapore Treaty:

“The provisions of Article 6 of the said Treaty will not be applicable to OAPI. According to the said provisions, where goods or services belonging to several classes of the Nice Classification have been included in one and the same application, such an application shall result in one and the same registration.

The provisions of Article 19(2) of the Treaty will not be applicable to OAPI. OAPI requires the recordal of a license as a condition for any right that the license may have under the provisions of the Bangui Agreement, to join infringement proceedings initiated by the holder or to obtain, by way of such proceedings, damages resulting from an infringement of the mark which is the subject of the license”.

  1. Information Minister Sacks Head of NBC and others: In a recent meeting with the heads of parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Minister (Lai Mohammed) communicated the decision of the Federal Government to disengage them. The affected parastatals and Chief Executives are Ima Niboro – News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Emeka Mba – Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mike Omeri – National Orientation Agency (NOA), Sola Omole – Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ladan Salihu – Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Sam Worlu – Voice of Nigeria (VON).

*African Intellectual Property Organization

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