Since the protection of industrial property (trademarks, patents, industrial designs…) is generally granted by registration, both Dominican law as well as various international treaties establish the priority right.
The concept of priority is simple: provide a time period for the applicant to reproduce its registration application in other countries or jurisdictions, without further action or requests affecting it. Priority does not allow the application to be denied, invalidated or annulled by whatever happened during this term.
Law 20-00 concerning Industrial Property states that its provisions are supplementary to the priority on international treaties, which means that they regulate first and if there is something else left is for the Dominican law to handle. However, it also provides reciprocal treatment to give priority to jurisdictions which also provide them to Dominican Republic, (this may cover areas outside those treaties).
The period itself varies according to the type of industrial property concerned:
- Patent: twelve (12) months from the date of the first application.
- Industrial design: six (6) months from the date of the first application.
- Trademark: six (6) months from the date of the first application.