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Dominican Republic Trademark Services

Trademark searches

Trademark availability searches are made according to the international nomenclature of the Nice Agreement; such search applications may target one class trademarks. Device marks can also be searched as special certifications. The approximate time frame to receive results is 5 working days.

Application for registration of a trademark

Trademark filing applications require an original Power of Attorney and priority documents (certified copy), if applicable. No legalization or notarization is required. Also, trademark filing applications required: A) Name and address of the applicants. B) Full denomination or representation of the trademark. C) A list of the products and/or services to be protected.

The application number is assigned at filing date. At filing the application is not necessary to specify actual use or intent of use of the mark.

A trademark application is examined for formalities, distinctiveness, and conflict with prior applications and registrations. The criteria applied by the Examiner at the moment of examining the applications may be for relative or absolute causes. The absolute causes are those such as the lack of distinctiveness, the imitation of other sings, the usual presentation of the products, signs contrary to morality and public order, among others. Secondly, the relative causes could be based on the affectation to the personality rights of third parties; as well as the similarity to others trademarks, trade names, or other distinctive signs; and infringement of copyright. Likewise the application can be refused on the basis of a non-registered famous marks owned by third parties.

If a preliminary objection is raised, it is possible to file a response fulfilling the requirements of the Examiner, amending the application or filing defense arguments indicating the reasons why the trademark could be registered. The time frame to file a response to a preliminary objection is 60 days from the objection-notice. Extensions of this period are possible to request. If no response is filed, the application will be declared abandoned. The applicant may appeal an abandonment notice of definitive refusal to the General Director of the Trademark Office. The applicable law is the Industrial Property Law No. 20-00.

The applications are published once they have been examined in form and substance. Then the application can be subject of an opposition by a third party, which can be filed within 45 days as of the publication date of the mark.

Registration of a trademark

Granted the registration, such is valid for 10 years and there are no maintenance fees due to keep it alive.

Initially, the exclusive right of a trademark is acquired through registration. However, the Industrial Property Law provides an exception to this disposal, based on the cases where there is a continuous and good faith use, longer than six months.

The time frame to obtain a trademark registration in the Dominican Republic is approximately three months, if there are no obstacles, such as oppositions or preliminary objections others.

Opposition of a trademark application

A trademark application can be subject of opposition recourse if such is filed within 45 days after the publication date of the trademark application. The opposition could be based on absolute or relative causes. The action is filed before the local TMO and the time frame to obtain a decision is approximately within 12 to 18 months. An appeal of the decision is possible to be submitted to the General Director of the TMO.

Cancellation of a trademark registration

A trademark registration is subject of a non-use cancellation action from the third year of the registration date or after 3 consecutive years from the last use. This action of cancellation can only be interposed by a third party. The action is filed before the local TMO and the time frame to obtain a decision is 12 to 18 months. An appeal of the decision is possible to submit to the General Director of the TMO.

Nullity of a trademark registration

A registration can be subject of a nullity action, raised by a third party, based on absolute or relative causes. After five years of the registration date, a trademark nullity action only proceeds for absolute causes or if bad faith is proven when acquiring the registration. The action is filed before the local TMO and the time frame to obtain a decision is approximately within 12 to 18 months. An appeal of the decision is possible to be submitted to the General Director of the TMO.

 

Assignment of a trademark registration

In order to record an assignment, it is required a certified copy of the deed of assignment by a notary of the respective country (original), signed by both parties, legalized by Apostille and original Power of Attorney duly signed. The time frame to receive the assignment certificate is within 15 working days.

Renewal of a trademark registration

In the case of renewals of trademark registrations, it is required an original Power of Attorney duly signed. The first renewal due is 10 years from the registration date. There is a grace period of 6 months. The time frame to receive the renewal certificate is within 15 working days.

Change of Name and Address of a trademark registration

For a change of name or address of a trademark registration, neither declaration of change of address or change of name, nor other documentation is required, in accordance with the Trademark Law Treaty (TLT). It is only required the filing of the request with the details for the change recording.

 

Legislation

  • Dominican Republic’s Constitution of 2010.
  • The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property signed in Paris, France, on 20 March 1883.
  • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) (1994) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Dominican Republic – Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement, Chapter 15.
  • Industrial Property Law No. 20-00, dated May 8th, 2000.
  • Decree No. 599-01 of application of Industrial Property Law No. 20-00.
  • Decree No. 326-06 of application of Industrial Property Law No. 20-00.