Years or months after receiving your trademark registration certificate you learn that another person has managed to obtain registration of an identical or confusingly similar trademark for identical or related products and/or services, are you forced to coexist in the Dominican Republic marketplace?
A simple answer is NO. The Law No. 20-00 concerning Industrial Property establishes an “invalidity action” that could terminate this certificate. This is an administrative process before the National Office of Industrial Property (Oficina Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial or ONAPI). (Apart from the judicial procedure).
By properly demonstrating your earlier right on the trademark, continuing use after registration and specifying why they could no coexist, you may have a strong case that could easily turn successful. However, if you have not used the trademark, there is a possibility that the counterpart requests the cancellation of your own trademark. Do not panic, the Dominican law accepts “intent to use” and “actual use” to maintain registration.
To prevent that another person register your trademark, always keep track of trademark application publications or hire trademark tracking services.