The current Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was adopted in 1999. It is the fourth constitution constitution since independence from the United Kingdom in October 1960 after those of 1960, 1963 and 1979.
The Constitution specifies the items over which Federal, State, and Local Governments have legislative powers. Only the Federal Government can make laws in respect of copyright, patents, trade marks, trade or business names and industrial designs. These are stated in the Exclusive Legislative List (Section 4 of the Constitution and Part I of the Second Schedule).
Article 251 of the Constitution also reads: ‘Notwithstanding anything to the contained in this Constitution (…), the Federal High Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other court in civil causes and matters (…) in any Federal enactment relating to copyright, patent, designs, trade marks and passing-off, industrial designs and merchandise marks, business names, commercial and industrial monopolies, combines and trusts, standards of goods and commodities and industrial standards’.