If you are thinking on identifying your business, product or service with a catchy phrase that will differentiate you in the vast Dominican market, please claim your ownership first through registration.
As with trademark, the Law No. 20-00 concerning Industrial Property requires slogan registration before National Office of Industrial Property (Oficina Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial or ONAPI) to obtain exclusive rights.
Unfortunately, independent registration of a slogan is not admissible; you must tie your slogan to a registered (or to be register) company name or trademark. If you lose “the mother” registration, you lose the slogan registration as well.
First thing to do: Background search! It doesn’t matter how great, new, original or amazing your slogan is; always check if someone else has registered an identical or confusingly similar slogan.
And now… 1, 2, 3 and 4!
Step 1: Application.-
A written request identifying your amazing slogan, “mother” registration or application (company name or trademark), applicant and representative (if applicable).
Step 2: Examination.-
ONAPI analyses the application. First reviewing any format errors and then analyzing whether the application violates the two main prohibitions: (a) inadmissibility regarding to the sing 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 the objections. If the applicant or its representative does not reply within this period of time or if its response 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 slogan 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, BUT it will always depend on the “mother” registration.
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