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New Accelerated Patent Grant Arrangement between the US and the Dominican Republic

By: Carlos Tapia

May 6, 2024

The U.S. and the Dominican Republic recently announced the launch of an Accelerated Patent Grant (APG) initiative between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Office of Industrial Property of the Dominican Republic (ONAPI). Moreover, the United States recently removed the Dominican Republic from its Watch List in the 2024 Special 301 Report, affirming the country’s status as a prime hub for Intellectual Property management in the Caribbean region.

Recently, Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Dr. Salvador Ramos, Director General of ONAPI, signed a joint statement of intent to implement the APG initiative. This groundbreaking collaboration aims to streamline the patent grant process, offering significant benefits to patent holders in both countries.

Key points regarding the APG initiative include:

  • Expedited Grant Process: The APG initiative allows eligible patent applicants who have been granted a U.S. patent by the USPTO to request expedited processing of their corresponding Dominican patent application at any stage of its processing, following the publication of the application by ONAPI.
  • Timely Implementation: The APG worksharing arrangement will go into effect 30 calendar days after the signing ceremony, ensuring swift implementation of this beneficial program.
  • Duration: This collaborative effort between the USPTO and ONAPI will continue for five years, providing a sustained period of enhanced patent cooperation.

The benefits of the APG initiative are manifold, particularly for innovators, startups, and small businesses. By expediting patent grants, we facilitate quicker protection of intellectual property rights, enabling companies to secure funding and bring their innovative ideas to market faster. 

This agreement was signed this past April 26th, so there are yet no clear guidelines as to the process and requirements to file for APG in the DR. As your trusted legal partner, we are committed to helping you navigate this new landscape and maximize the benefits of the APG agreement

ClarkeModet Group can support you through our own company in the country, ClarkeModet Dominicana, where our local experts can provide firsthand guidance on any matter related to your IP in the country and throughout the Caribbean region.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with patent filings or other intellectual property matters, please contact us at inforepdominicana@clarkemodet.com

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