As part of the Berne Convention, Dominican Republic does not require any formal registration to provide protection to Copyright works; the work will be automatically protected from the moment of its creation.
However, registration may very useful in enforcement actions as a proof of ownership, and of the date of creation or the content of the work itself.
Regarding trademarks, patents, designs and utility models, Dominican Republic’s Law adopts the first to file principle, what means that exclusive rights are granted to the party that firstly register the relevant IP right in Dominican Republic. Therefore, to benefit from full legal protection and turn intangible assets into tradable assets, it would be necessary to register your creations.
Nevertheless, this trademark system offers the following protection to unregistered trademarks:
- In accordance with its international obligations under the Paris Convention and the TRIPS Agreement, Dominican Republic protects unregistered well-known marks.
- Grants, under certain conditions, a “preferential right” for obtaining registration to the person who has been using a trademark in good faith and in trade since the earliest date inside the national territory.
- Do not allow the registration of a trademark which is identical or similar to an unregistered trademark that is used by a third party who would have better right to obtain the registry, so long as the trademark is for the same products or services, or for products or services that are different but might be associated or connected.
On the other hand, be aware that in contrast with Europe, unregistered designs are not protected in Dominican Republic.
If you want to know more about how to protect your creations, and get tailored advice to your specific case, contact our Helpline. It is free, fast and confidential.