A trademark in the Dominican Republic is defined as any sign or combination of signs that may be graphically symbolized and are suitable to distinguish the products or services of a business from those of others.
Although the registration of trademarks is not mandatory in the Dominican Republic, there are many benefits derived from registering your trademark including: increasing the value of your commercial assets, preventing others from commercializing similar or identical products with the same trademark, ensuring your right to use the trademark, using the trademark as a marketing tool, and engaging in license or franchise agreements.
A registered Dominican trademark grants its owner the right to use the trademark for 10 years, renewable indefinitely.
The National Office of Industrial Property (“ONAPI” for its Spanish acronym) is responsible for managing the trademark registration processes and, in general, of all processes contemplated under Law 20-00 of Industrial Property and its Regulation 599-01, as amended. In this sense, ONAPI will be in charge of reviewing the application to ensure that minimum filing requirements have been met.
Registration Process: The registration of a trademark begins with filing the Trademark Application before ONAPI, basically including the following information: trademark to be protected and goods and services to be protected pursuant to the International Nice Classification of Goods and Services (a system recognized in numerous countries of classifying goods and services for the purpose of registering trademarks), applicant’s name and address, and printed version of the trademark design, if applicable. In cases in which the applicant is a foreigner non-resident in the Dominican Republic, a proxy duly legalized shall be required. All documents shall be filed in Spanish language or translated by a legal interpreter.
Following ONAPI’s approval of the Trademark Application, the same will be published in ONAPI’s Official Gazette and subject to a 45 day period in which any third party may file opposition to such registration. When no opposition is made, ONAPI shall issue the Trademark Registration Certificate.
Time: Registration Process takes approximately 3 months.
ONAPI Fees: Government fees charged by ONAPI vary depending on the type of trademark and the number of Classes in which the same will be registered.
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