Legal Drama

Law & Policy: Foreigners Own Intellectual Property Rights in Nigeria’s Currency (Naira)

This story is crazy to me:

“The trademark patent right of the naira notes in circulation is owned by non-Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.

The apex bank yesterday cited this as one of the reasons it wants to redesign the naira notes. According to the director of corporate communications of the CBN, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor, “it was quite shocking to us when we discovered that the patent rights of some of our notes are owned by non-Nigerians.”

Okoroafor, who spoke with financial journalists in Lagos yesterday, said it is not right or safe for a sovereign state such as Nigeria to have the patent right of its legal tender owned by a foreigner. “It is dangerous for us as a nation because they can hold us at the neck with it,” he stated.

He however noted that the patent rights of the new designs of the naira would be owned fully by Nigerians, adding that this was one of the crucial reasons the CBN wants to restructure the naira. . .” The Leadership has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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