DR Customs Intellectual Property Protection

By Maria Arthur (marthur@aclaw.com)

Dominican Intellectual Property Law 20-00, and Law 426-06 for the implementation of the DR-CAFTA, establishes that if the owner of intellectual property rights suspects that an import of goods in violation of its rights is being prepared, it may request a court as a preventive measure to order customs to suspend such dispatch of goods for their free circulation or exploitation.

In this regard, the DGA shall communicate to the owner of the right within 5 days after detection of counterfeit goods, the name and address of the consignor, the importer and the consignee and the quantity of the goods, so that it initiates the corresponding actions.

On the other hand, Copyright Law No. 65-00, and Law 426-06 of the Implementation of the DR-CAFTA, provides that if the owner of a copyright or related right or association, suspects that an import or export of goods that harm the copyright or related rights is being prepared, or these are in transit, it may request the suspension of their dispatch for free circulation. In this sense, Paragraph I of the referred article requires that the authorities prevent the export of counterfeit goods or that these are subjected to a different customs regime, save exceptional circumstances.

To streamline such measures in the border and to optimize the protection of the owners of intellectual property rights foreseen in the Chapter XV of the Free Trade Agreement among the United States of America, Central America and the Dominican Republic (DR-CAFTA), on August 4 of 2010, was created through Resolution No.01-2010, the Register of Owners of Intellectual Property Rights of the DGA, whose purposes is to facilitate the tasks of inspection and retention of goods during customs process affected of a presumption of violation of intellectual property rights.

The registration in the Owners Registry is open to owners of intellectual property rights registered before the Dominican Industrial Property Office (ONAPI) and the Dominican Copyright Office (ONDA), as well as to concessionaires of owners (at the request of the owner of the right) and has a duration of two (2) years renewable. In case of not having a certificate of registration of the Works before the ONDA, the owner shall present sufficient evidence that allows verifying the ownership of his right.

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