Regulating Intellectual Property in the Cyber-Space: Making a Case Study for the Nigerian Cyber-Space

Posted: 21 Dec 2012

Date Written: December 20, 2012


The subject of intellectual property has a long and varied history introduce during the Middle Ages, it initially aroused considerable controversy, from the 18th century. However it almost faded from the popular consciousness, times are changing and the needs of the information society differ from those of its industrial predecessor. It is however becoming obvious that upon the advent of the internet the current system does not anticipate, with a series of new issues prevalent in Cyberspace that do not have a counterpart in the real world.

The only local legislation which attempts to define electronic crimes is the telecommunications and postal offences Decree 1995 (Formally Decree No 13 of 1995 now Advance fee fraud and other related offences Act 1995 ) by application of the “existing law” provision of Section 315, 1999 constitution, while the regulations that regulate intellectual property in Nigeria is PATENT & DESIGNS ACT (PDA) CAP P2 (1970 NO 60 L.N.53 OF 1971), TRADE MARKS ACT CAP T13.

The growth of the Internet has put pressure on traditional intellectual property protections such as copyright and patent. Some forms of information, when made accessible on the Internet, are easily copied. Because the costs of copying are low and because copying is often anonymous, publishers have often responded with more aggressive enforcement of existing intellectual property rights and with calls for extensions of those rights to cover additional content, new media and new forms of access. While the potential exposure and market penetration for businesses in cyberspace is endless, so is the potential for infringement and theft of company secrets, brand identifiers and other intellectual property. It is now (more than ever) important to protect these assets.

Primarily intellectual property law is a civil law and infringements are dealt with by civil courts which have the power to grant interim remedies and preliminary orders before trial and of course give judgments respectively. But what do you do when you don’t even see the person who has infringed on your intellectual property right?

This book critically examines the activities of the cyber space and apart from the traditional intellectual property law Nigeria is yet to have an intellectual property law or any law that regulates or protect an intellectual property law in her cyber-space. Let me categorically state that it is almost impossible to have an absolute control over the the cyber space however a country who does not have control over its cyber space can not control the activity therein it is in the view decided to write this book making a case study of countries who has a level of control over its cyber space in order to impress on the need of Federal Republic of Nigeria to take control of its cyber space and of course determine the the authorship of an intellectual Property work the cyber space.

Suggested Citation

Ayotomiwa, Adebayo Oluwasegun, Regulating Intellectual Property in the Cyber-Space: Making a Case Study for the Nigerian Cyber-Space (December 20, 2012). Available at SSRN:

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