Trademark registration in Dominican Republic is a four step process: application, examination, application publication and registration certificate.
Step 1: Application.-
A written request specifying the sign, classification of products and services (Nice Classification), applicant and representative (if applicable).
Step 2: Examination.-
The Dominican authority, National Office of Industrial Property (Oficina Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial or ONAPI) analyses the application. First reviewing any format errors and then analyzing whether the request violates the two prohibitions on trademark registration: (a) inadmissibility regarding to the sign and (b) inadmissibility concerning the rights of third parties. If ONAPI finds any violations of these prohibitions the applicant or its representative will be notified, granting them a period of sixty (60) days to either “withdraw, modify or limit” the application or respond to ONAPI’s objections. If the applicant or its representative does not reply within this period of time or if the answer does not meet with the established provisions, the application will be denied.
Step 3: Application publication.-
This gives to third parties the period of forty five (45) days to present oppositions against the published application. Once this period is exhausted, ONAPI decides over the oppositions presented by third parties (if applicable).
Step 4: Certificate.-
If ONAPI approves, a certificate granting the trademark registration is issued.
The certificate is valid for ten (10) years after the registration has been granted, and may be renewed for successive periods of ten (10) years.
Step 0: Background search.- (optional but highly recommended)
Before proceeding with the trademark registration application, a background search of the sign you wish to protect may be the best way to prevent third parties oppositions or objection from ONAPI.
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