Trademark application Dominican Republic

Trademark registration Dominican Republic

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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Dominican Republic?

The costs of trademark registration in Dominican Republic depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get  protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.


How do you get a trademark registration in Dominican Republic?

Trademark registration in the Dominican Republic is based on ‘first-to-file’ jurisdiction. This principle boils down to: first come, first served. Priority is given to the first person to file the trademark application in the Dominican Republic. Trademark registration in the Dominican Republic is important for the protection of the trademark. In exceptional cases, unregistered trademarks are eligible for protection.


Is registration only valid in Dominican Republic?

The applications for trademark registration in the Dominican Republic are handled by the National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI). A trademark registration in the Dominican Republic is only valid in the country itself. It is also important to know that the Dominican Republic is not a member state of the Madrid Treaty. This Treaty makes international registrations easier. An already registered trademark in a Madrid member state cannot therefore be registered in the Dominican Republic via the treaty.


How long does the application process in the Dominican Republic take?

Trademark registration in the Dominican Republic takes between three and six months. The ONAPI conducts various investigations, including into distinctiveness. The application will then appear in the state newspaper. If all this goes smoothly, the trademark registration in the Dominican Republic is usually in order within six months.


Opposition proceedings by third parties

A so-called opposition procedure is always lurking. After publication of the application in the state newspaper, third parties have 45 days to object. This can seriously slow down the application process. The opposition procedure can take months, be expensive and actually block the registration.


How long is a registration valid for?

A registered trade name in the Dominican Republic is valid for ten years from the date of registration. Six months before the expiry date, it is possible to renew this period for another ten years. After the expiration date, there is still a grace period of six months during which the trademark can also be renewed. This does entail additional costs.


What happens if the mark is not used?

When registering, a trademark does not necessarily have to be in use in the Dominican Republic. Earlier use can be useful to remove objections based on insufficient distinctiveness. The trademark must be in use within three years from the date of registration. After that, third parties have the right to delete the trademark on the basis of non-use.


Protection against third-party requests

Trademark registration in the Dominican Republic is recommended. It has several advantages. As mentioned before, a registered trademark is protected. For example, a third party cannot just register a comparable trademark. As a brand owner you always have the right to put a stop to this on the basis of confusing similarity.


Can you use the r symbol or not?

Registered brands may also use the international r symbol. The symbol shows that the brand is officially recognized and registered. The r symbol also contributes to a professional appearance. Only registered brands are entitled to use the r symbol. Unregistered brands that nevertheless use the r symbol are punishable by law.


Identification products and services

In addition, the brand identifies the products and services. Consumers recognize products and services by brand. When the consumer sees the brand, they immediately know which product it is. This is also an important reason to register a trademark. It would have adverse consequences if a trademark was unregistered and someone else ran off with it.


Which types of registration do we distinguish?

With a trademark registration in the Dominican Republic, different types of registrations are possible:

  1. the word mark
  2. the figurative mark
  3. the combined trademark.

The word mark consists of only alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers). The use of stylized letters and fonts is allowed. The figurative mark does not have these alphanumeric characters and consists only of graphic elements. The combination of the two is called the combined trademark.


Notes on Combined Trademark

Use of the combined trademark is limited to its exact registration. This means that word and figurative elements of the combined trademark cannot be used separately from each other. There are no rights on these elements and they are also not protected. If you wish, a separate registration is required.


What information is required for a trademark application in the Dominican Republic?

When applying for the trademark, you must provide various information to the ONAPI. These include, among others:

  • Complete data brand owner and company
  • An example of the trademark to be registered
  • Detailed and accurate description of product(s) and/or service(s)
  • The class(es) of the product(s) and/or service(s) according to the Nice system

Does the classification follow the Treaty of Nice?

The Nice system is a worldwide standard for determining classes for products and services. This classification system is divided into 45 classes. Classes 1 to 35 are for products, the others for services. When determining the classes, it helps to ask these questions: What products or services does the company provide? And what is being promoted by the brand?

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