– Law No. 20-00 of May 8, 2000 on Industrial Property.
– Ruling No. 599-01, dated June 1, 2001, modifying Law No. 20-00.
– Ruling No. 180-03, dated March 3, 2003, modifying Ruling No. 599-01.
– Law No. 424-06, establishing the Free Trade Treaty among the Dominican Republic, Central America and the United States of America (DR-CAFTA).
Membership in International Conventions
– Paris Convention, Act of The Hague (1925), since April 6, 1951.
– Pan-American Convention (Buenos Aires 1910 and Washington 1929).
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since March 9, 1995.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since June 27, 2000.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since August 30, 2009.
Applicant: the creator, his assignees or successors. The right to obtain protection for an industrial design belongs to the designer. If two or more persons have created the design together, the right belongs to all of them jointly. This right may be transferred by an act between living persons or through succession. When the industrial design has been created during the performance of a work or service contract, or a labor contract, the right to obtain the protection will belong to the person who contracted the work or the service, or to the employer, except for contractual provisions to the contrary.
Protection of foreigners and nationals not living in the country: the same as for nationals, but an attorney must be appointed.
Naming of creator(s): the designer shall be mentioned as such in the corresponding registration and in the official documents relating to the same unless, by a written statement to the General Agency for Industrial Property, the designer should indicate that he or she does not wish to be mentioned. Any pact or agreement whereby the designer of an industrial design is obliged in advance to make such a statement is null and void.
Definition: the law defines the concept of an industrial design as “any group of lines or combinations of colors or any two-dimensional or three-dimensional external form which incorporates an industrial or craft product so as to give it a special appearance, without changing the function or purpose of said product”.
Novelty (notion): an industrial design will enjoy protection if it is new, or deemed to be new. An industrial design is considered new if it has not been disclosed or made accessible to the public any place in the world through publication, marketing, use or any other means, before the date on which the person having the right to obtain the protection filed an application for registration of the industrial design in the Dominican Republic or, should such be the case, the date of the recognized priority. For the purpose of determining that it is new, disclosure that may have occurred within the twelve months preceding the date of application for registration is not taken into account, so long as such disclosure has resulted directly or indirectly from actions by the designer of the design or his assignee, or from an abuse of confidence, contract violation or illegal act committed against either of them. An industrial design is not considered new solely because it presents minor differences from other previous ones.
Exceptions to protection: the protection of an industrial design does not include those elements or characteristics of the design determined solely by the realization of a technical function, and do not incorporate any arbitrary contribution of the designer. The protection of an industrial design does not include those elements or characteristics of the design the reproduction of which are necessary to permit the product which incorporates it to be mechanically mounted or connected to another product of which it constitutes an integral part.
Territory covered: Dominican Republic.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Name and address of the applicant as well as of the creator(s) if he is not the applicant;
2. Power of attorney in favor of a resident attorney or law firm. Said document, once executed, must be duly notarized and authenticated by a Consulate of the Dominican Republic or by Apostille;
3. Assignment document, if the applicant is not the creator, notarized and legalized as above;
4. A description of the design and its particularities;
5. A graphic representation of the design;
6. If a priority is claimed, the application must attest the country or Office where the priority was filed, the date of such filing and the number assigned to said application;
7. A certified copy of the priority application must be filed after the filing of the application;
8. The products with which the design will be applied for and the Locarno Class to be claimed in protection.
Electronic filing: not available.
Electronic signatures: are not accepted (only wet signatures). Further, scanned copies of signed documents are not accepted, originals are mandatory.
Formal examination: upon receipt of the application, the General Agency for Industrial Property will make an examination to determine whether the application meets the requirements stated by the Law.
Publication: after the examination referred to above, the General Agency for Industrial Property will order the publication of the industrial design in the corresponding organ.
Opposition: once the industrial design or model is published, any interested party may file an objection before the proper authority if they find their rights are being violated in any way by the application, within a period not greater than thirty days counted from the date of its publication.
Duration: five years from the date of application in the Dominican Republic.
Renewal: possible for two additional periods of five years by paying the established renewal fees. The extension requirements must be filed before the fifth and tenth anniversaries from the date of application. There is a grace period of six months to pay the renewal fees.
Annuities: not applicable.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Cancellation: upon request by any interested person, and after hearing the holder of the registration of the industrial design, the General Agency for Industrial Property shall declare the registration null and void if it was carried out in violation of any of the provisions of the chapters related to the protection of industrial designs. The request for declaration of nullity may be made in defense or by way of counterclaim in any action for infraction relating to a registered industrial design.