New legislature on Intellectual Property (law 20-00 of May 2000 on industrial property and 65-00 of August 2000 on copyrights) has been enacted in order to comply with provisions of agreement signed by countries with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Aspects (TRIPS). Ever since the enacting of these laws, a remarkable change on protection system for trademarks has been accomplished. For instance, with the adoption of the Niza´s International Classification of Goods that gives a wider and greater protection to registered trademarks and eliminates the limited scope of former local classification with 70 classes of products.
Moreover, the creation of National Office for Industrial Property (by law 20-00), has started the modernization of the trademark computer system and has incorporated the technology needed to expedite the process as from clearance search until possible administrative conflicts which might arise from the application in question.
Trademarks and Tradenames
Registration of trademarks in Dominican Republic grants trademark owner the exclusive rights of prohibiting any use by third parties of the registered trademark, except for the cases when use by third parties is legitimate and made as a consequence of any trade relation started by the owner of the trademark direct or indirectly when the product is put in the local or international market as long as product or good has suffered no alteration or modification whatsoever.
Trade names are protected by law 20-00 and its rights are originated not for the registration but for the first use in commerce. Protection is granted even when not registered but is eliminated upon the abandonment of the trade name which takes place when no use of the trade name in question has been made for the last 5 years.
Registration applications may be filed with the National Office of Industrial Property. Registration is granted for a period of ten years, renewable for consecutive ten-year periods. Renewal applications must provide proof of use of the trademark along with a Declaration of Use or Nonuse based on the provisions of Act 20-00 on Industrial Property
Documents required to file a trademark or trade name application:
- General information on the applicant such as Country or State of incorporation (for companies), the name of the representative of the company, passport number, and address.
- The exact way the trademark is to be registered (specification on letters and colors if any claim is to be made upon them);
- For cases of designs or labels, provide 6 samples of 3´x3´ color photos
- Description of goods and services to be protected.
- In the event priority benefits of the Paris Convention are to be claimed, it would be necessary to provide a certified copy of the application as filed in the country of origin. No further legalization is required.
- Power of attorney form duly signed by the applicant, notarized and then legalized before Dominican Republic Consulate nearest to the applicant’s jurisdiction.