Trademark registration in Dominica. Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Caribbean. In recent years, the Commonwealth of Dominica has become a major international financial hub and is quickly becoming one of the largest banking centers in the world. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of trademark registration in Dominica.
Signs registrable as a trademark in Dominica
Signs approvable as a trademark in Dominica include words, mixed, figurative, three-dimensional, sonorous, and olfactory. In which, the stylized wordmarks are composed only of letters. Figurative marks consist of a drawing, figure, or sign and do not contain letters. Mixed marks are a combination of figures and letters.
Letters, numbers, monograms, figures, portraits, labels, lines and bands, and combinations of these, along with sounds and smells, are signs registrable as trademarks.
The requirements of the trademark registration in Dominica
Applicants who are a foreigner will need to submit their application before the Roseau, Dominica through a local representative. Submission of a notarized power of attorney or authorization is obligatory.
It should also be noted that every trademark registration in Dominica needs a physical address in Dominican Republic.
The application for trademark registration in Dominica must include the following information: Name, address, description of the trademark, list of goods and services, color (If any), the international classification.
The procedure of trademark registration in Dominica
The whole processing time for a trademark registered in Dominica is about 6 – 12 months. However, it should be noted that the actual time to process a trademark registration in Dominica varies depending on each case and in the circumstance whether or not there are objections raised or oppositions filed against the application.
The process of examining the application includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness, and a search for prior conflicting trademarks.
If there is no violation found during the examination process, the trademark is published. Any related third parties may have a period of 45 days to file an opposition before the Trademark Office.
Oppositions to trademark applications are notified to the applicant. After the moment of receiving the notice, the applicants will have 30 days to submit their arguments. It is possible to obtain an extension of this period.
The oppositions are known by the ONAPI legal department. ONAPI’s response takes 3 to 6 months.
If the applicant fulfills the requirements of the trademark registration and has not been objected to by a third party, ONAPI will issue the registration certificate to the applicant.
Trademark registration in Dominica is valid for 10 years from the registration date. The applicant may file for trademark renewal for a period of 10 years. Existing registrations keep their term of 14 years until their next renewal.
Use requirements of the trademark in Dominica
A trademark may be registered without having been used in the Dominican Republic. Local regulation does not require proof of use or intended use. The need to use is only obliged after the successful registration of the trademark.
After the trademark has been registered, it has to be used within 3 years from the date of registration. The trademark may be subject to cancellation if not properly used without a just cause for a consecutive period of 3 years.
You can see a list of Dominica IP firms here.