Article 52 of the Constitution of the Dominican Republic recognizes and protects the exclusive property rights of authors and inventors over their work, trade names, trademarks, distinctive signs and any other creation of their intellect, as established by law. Inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, trade names, signs, logos, geographical indications and designations of origin are governed by Industrial Property Law 20-00 and its enabling regulations. Copyright protection is governed by Copyright Law 65-00 and its enabling regulations, which also protects the rights of performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters.
Dominican Republic Intellectual Property Registration Key Features
International Treaties on Intellectual Property Recognized in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a party to and has ratified many international treaties related to intellectual property, including the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, and the World Intellectual Property Organization treaties on copyright, patent rights, and performances and recordings.
Administration of Industrial Property Rights
The National Agency for Industrial Property (known locally as ONAPI, its Spanish acronym), a dependency of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Dominican Republic, is in charge of the administration and registration of industrial property rights. Industrial property records are public and can be consulted free of charge at ONAPI.
Administration of Copyrights
The National Copyright Agency (known locally as ONDA, its Spanish acronym), a dependency of the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic, is in charge of the administration and registration of copyrights. Copyright records are public and can be consulted free of charge at ONDA.
Protection and Registration of Industrial Property Rights
Inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, trade names, signs, logos, geographical indications and designations of origin must be registered at ONAPI in order to be protected. Nonetheless, priority rights are recognized for industrial property registered in other countries on the basis of international agreements ratified by the Dominican Republic.
Trademarks, Service Marks, Tradenames and Slogans
A mark is legally defined as any visible sign or combination of signs, susceptible of graphic representation, used to distinguish the products or services of a business from those of other businesses. Words (real or made-up), names, slogans, letters, numbers, monograms, figures, labels, coats-of-arm, pictures, trimmings, combinations of colors, shapes, among others, may be registered as marks. No registration is granted, however, to marks that may be confused with others already registered or pending registration, or consisting of just common words or geographical names, or of usual or necessary shapes of products, among others.