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are software inventions patentable in nigeria?

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ARE SOFTWARE INVENTIONS OR APPLICATIONS PATENTABLE IN NIGERIA: (Locus to petition for the nullification of a patent) A review of Interswitch Limited v E-Tranzact Global Limited & The Registrar of Patents and Designs. 

The significance of Software Innovation in Africa

Africa’s leading role in innovation for software inventions or computer programs cannot be contested. Arguably, intellectual property protection for software inventions/applications, especially patents, may boost or impede the growth of industries that are driven by innovation in the software sector including e-commerce, fintech, entertainment and allied industries whose bedrock is software applications/inventions. The debate about the patentability of software has been rested for now given the pronouncement of Oweibo J. dismissing the attempt by Interswitch to nullify the patent of E-Tranzact in Interswitch Limited v E-Tranzact Global Limited & The Registrar of Patents and Designs. This is a short note on the case.

The summation of the court’s ruling is that upon the grant of the E-tranzact patent, there is a presumption that the Registrar is satisfied that the subject matter of the patent application meets the requirement of Section 3 of the Patent and Designs Act (PDA). As his Lordship rightly observed, “there is not much Nigeria case law to guide the Court in this dispute, though Counsel have in their written addresses, tried to guide me through this lonely path”.

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