John Onyido


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John is the partner in charge of the Firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Department and is currently overseeing our nascent Energy, Infrastructure and Natural Resources sector. John has garnered considerable experience and expertise in the field of Intellectual Property Law both in the general maintenance of various IP rights and related litigation. He has had cause to represent a number of multinational companies in the protection and enforcement of their IP rights in Nigeria, appearing before superior courts of record in trademark enforcement proceedings. He has obtained Anton Piller Orders and Interlocutory / permanent injunctions against counterfeiters in multi-party class actions.

John has extensive civil and commercial litigation experience and has represented numerous clients in labour and employment law, banking and insurance, breach of contract actions and general transactional arrangements. His expertise extends to various forms of intellectual property licensing, International Trade and Economic law, the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Sovereign Debt disputes, International Investment matters and Telecommunications. He has settled appellate briefs before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in collaboration with other attorneys on sensitive and pivotal issues under US Immigration law and practice and acted as lead counsel (admitted pro hac vice) in a landmark administrative appeal over the regulation of professional licenses before the Virginia Circuit Court.

A cross-section of previous and existing clients include: Guinness Plc., Societe des Produits Nestle SA, Groupe Danone, Coca Cola, Inc., United Distillers Plc., Yaba College of Technology, AlliedSignal Ltd., Nabisco Inc., Unilever Plc., FanMilk International, MTN Nigeria, VoiceWeb International, OVH Energy and Facebook. He was privy to a number of the Qualcomm patent and licensing litigations with a number of European telecom competitors and the LimeWire copyright infringement litigation filed by the major Media Companies and the Recording Industry Association of America against peer-to-peer internet users. Prior to joining the firm, John was in private law practice in New York and had previously worked at Messrs. Allan & Ogunkeye, and The Law Union (both in Nigeria) as well as with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP., in Manhattan. He currently sits on the editorial board of the Copyright Lawyer Magazine, U.K.

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law – Masters in Intellectual Property Law, (LL.M.)
University of Lagos, Nigeria – Masters in International Law and Diplomacy, (M.I.L.D.)
University of Lagos, Nigeria – Master of Laws, (LL.M.)
Nigerian Law School, Lagos – Barrister at Law (BL)
University of Benin, Nigeria – Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) with Honors

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), International Bar Association (IBA), America Bar Association (ABA), American Society of International Law (ASIL), International Trademark Association (INTA), Intellectual Property Law Association (IIPLA)
  • “International Copyright Treaties and Enforcement Challenges under Nigerian Law, THE COPYRIGHT LAWYER MAGAZINE, January 2018.
  • “Legal Trends in Intellectual Property Licensing” forthcoming in The Gravitas Review of Business & Property Law, 1st Quarter 2018.
  • Co-authored the following book chapters: a) _Intellectual Property Law and Litigation in Nigerian Courts: Current Statutory and Judicial Posture_ and b) _International Trade under the GATT/WTO Multilateral Regime vis-à-vis Developing & Least Developed Economies: Spotlight on Nigeria_, in A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY LEGAL TRENDS IN NIGERIAN LAW, LEXISNEXIS, November 2017.
  • “Copyright Collective Rights Management in Nigeria” THE COPYRIGHT LAWYER MAGAZINE, May 2017 pp. 38-40
  • Co-contributor of the Chapter on Nigeria Trademark Law and Practice, International Comparative Legal Guide to Trademarks 2017 and the Chapter on Copyright in Nigeria International Comparative Legal Guide to Copyright 2017/2018.
  • “The Role of Trade Secrets in the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights”, published in THE GRAVITAS REVIEW OF BUSINESS & PROPERTY LAW, Vol. 6, No. 3 2015 and in the JOURNAL OF COMMERCIAL LAW Vol. 2 No. 1, March 2016 pp. 254-79.
  • The Jurisdiction of the Federal High Courts of Nigeria in Respect of Trademark Actions: An Appraisal of the Supreme Court Decision in Patkun Inds., Ltd. v. Niger Shoes Ltd. Published in The Appellate Review Law Journal, Vol. 2 No. 2 March 2012.
  • Making a Case for the Trademark Misuse Doctrine. Unpublished Project paper, Cardozo School of Law, 2009.
    RIAA’s fight against Online Music Piracy: The LimeWire Litigation. Unpublished seminar paper, Cardozo School of Law, 2008.
  • Application of First Amendment Principles to the US Law of Trademarks: Some Lessons to be Learned. Unpublished seminar paper, Cardozo School of Law, 2008.
  • The Right to A Safe Environment: Published in Modern Practice Journal of Finance & Investment Law, January/April 2004 Vol. 8.
  • Intellectual Property Protection in Nigeria – Current Investment Climate for South African Businessmen: Published in Modern Practice Journal of Finance & Investment Law, April 2001 Vol. 5 No. 2.
  • Intellectual Property Protection for Software Rights in Nigeria: Need for Law Reform? Published in Modus International Law & Business Quarterly Vol. 5 No. 2 June 2000. Also published in A Decade of Copyright Law in Nigeria, The Nigerian Copyright Commission, 2002

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