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Magdalena Almonte, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property & New Technologies at Ulises Cabrera

Dominican Republic, United States     Intellectual Property  Inspiring Women in Law

Dominican Republic and United States sign agreement to accelerate patent grant between ONAPI and USPTO  

Magdalena Almonte,  July 1, 2024

On April 26th of this year, the National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI) signed a Joint Statement of Intent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to enhance cooperation in expediting patent grants related to the Dominican Republic.

 This collaboration led to the establishment of the Accelerated Patent Grant (APG) Agreement, aimed at expediting effective protection for inventions originating from this jurisdiction. 

While ONAPI is currently finalizing procedural guidelines for implementing this program, it became effective immediately upon signing.

Under this Agreement, once a patent is granted by the USPTO, applicants can seek accelerated patent processing from ONAPI. 

According to ONAPI’s preliminary guidelines, pending approval and publication, the APG will apply to patent applications before ONAPI that meet the following criteria:

1.    The USPTO patent application must have an earlier filing date than the application submitted to ONAPI requesting acceleration.

2.    The USPTO must have determined that the corresponding patent application is patentable.

3.    The claims in the USPTO application must be identical or equivalent to those submitted to ONAPI and must also comply with Dominican Republic Law No. 20-00.

Moreover, to qualify for accelerated patent processing under the preliminary guidelines, the application submitted to ONAPI must meet at least one of the following criteria:

a.    Claim priority under the Paris Convention based on the corresponding USPTO patent application.

b.    Claim international priority recognized under the Paris Convention, using a PCT application that has progressed to the national phase in another country, along with the patent application filed with the USPTO.

c.    Base the priority claim under the Paris Convention on the same patent application as the corresponding USPTO application, including a PCT application in the national phase.
Additionally, this application process will be free of charge, provided that the fee for the substantive examination of the pending application at ONAPI has been paid.


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