Abandonment of Trade Mark Applications in Opposition Proceedings – An Examination of the Provisions of Section 20 of the Trade Marks Act

In a recent appeal, successfully prosecuted by Jackson, Etti and Edu on behalf of Visa International Service Association, the Nigerian Court of Appeal upturned the decision of the Registrar of Trade Marks to register Visafone Nigeria Limited’s “VISAFONE” trade mark in class 16, on the ground that the said mark was in conflict with the trade mark “VISA”. The Court of Appeal also held that Visafone Nigeria Ltd’s VISAFONE trade mark should not have been registered as it was subject of an already abandoned trade mark application.

Visa International Service Association (through Jackson, Etti and Edu) filed an opposition against the registration of Visafone Nigeria Ltd’s trade mark application for VISAFONE in class 16. The said opposition was filed on the ground that the VISAFONE mark conflicted with Visa International Service Association’s prior trade mark registration for VISA in the same class.
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