Legislative Implementation of Flexibilities - Dominican Republic

Title:Articles 39-42 and 44-48 of the Law on Industrial Property No. 20-00 of 18/04/2000
Field of IP:Patents
Type of flexibility:Compulsory licenses and government use
Summary table:PDF

Provisions of Law

Article 39.- Exploitation of the Patent

For the effects of Article 41 of this law, exploitation of a patent is understood as follows:

a) When the patent has been granted for a product or for a procedure for the obtaining of a product, supply to the internal market in reasonable quantity, quality and price, through production in this country and importation.

b) When the patent has been granted for a procedure not included in subparagraph a), the use of the procedure on a commercial scale in this country.

Article 40.- Compulsory licenses

When a potential user has attempted to obtain the granting of a license from the patent holder under reasonable commercial terms and conditions and such attempts have not been effective after a period of two hundred and ten (210) days, counted from the date on which the respective license was applied for, the General Agency for Industrial Property, after prior hearing of the holder, shall be able to issue compulsory licenses relating to that patent. In all cases that merit it, the National Agency for Industrial Property shall concede compulsory licenses when the interested party demonstrates:

a) That he/she possesses the technical and economic capacity to confront the exploitation in question. Technical capacity shall be evaluated by the competent authority, in compliance with the specific regulations in the country that exist in each field of activity. Economic capacity shall be understood as the possibility to fulfill the obligation that derive from the exploitation that is to be undertaken.

b) When the patent refers to raw material from which a final product is to be developed, that the applicant is able to develop the final product independently or through third parties in the country, save cases in which production is impossible in national territory.

2) To determine what is understood by reasonable commercial terms and conditions, the particular circumstances of each case and the economic value of the authorization must betaken into account, keeping in mind the average rate of royalties for the sector in question

in contracts for commercial licenses between independent parties.

Article 41.- Compulsory License for lack of Exploitation

1) After three (3) years from the granting of the patent, or four (4) years from the filing of the application, applying whichever term expi res later, if the invention has not been exploited or when the exploitation of the same has been interrupted for more than one (1) year without justifiable cause, any person with the ability to exploit the invention may apply to the General Agency for Industrial Property to grant him or her an compulsory license for the patent in question.

2) A compulsory license shall not be granted when it is demonstrated that the lack or insufficiency of exploitation is due to fortuitous circumstances or force majeure, or to circumstances beyond the will or control of the patent holder and which justify the lack or insufficiency of exploitation. The lack of economic resources and the lack of economic viability of the exploitation are not considered justifying circumstances.

Article 42.- Compulsory Licenses for Anti-competitive Practices

Compulsory licenses shall be granted when the General Agency for Industrial Property has determined that the patent holder has indulged in anti-competitive practices. In such cases, without prejudice to the appeals available to the patent holder, the concession shall be carried out without the need to apply the procedure set forth in numeral 2 of Article 43. For the purposes of this law, the following practices, among others, are considered to be anti-competitive:

a) Setting excessive or discriminatory prices for the patented products. In particular, when there are offers of supply to the market at prices significantly lower than those offered by the patent holder for the same product.

b) Failure to supply the market under reasonable commercial conditions.

c) Hindrance of commercial or productive activities

d) The other actions set forth as such by this code and every other action which national legislation typifies as anti-competitive, limiting or restrictive to competition.

Article 44.- Conditions for the Granting of Compulsory Licenses

1) To grant compulsory licenses, the following provisions must be observed:

a) The granting of same must be by the General Agency for Industrial Property.

b) The circumstances of each case shall be considered.

c) The compulsory licenses shall be extended to patents relating to the components and processes permitting their exploitation

d) The granting of these licenses shall not be exclusive.

e) They may not be assigned, except for that part of the company or of its intangible asset that forms part of it.

f) They shall be granted principally to supply the internal market, except in the cases established in Articles 41 and 46.

g) The patent holder shall receive a reasonable remuneration according to the circumstances of each case, taking into account the economic value of the authorization. In determining the amount of the remuneration in cases in which the compulsory licenses have been granted to remedy anti-competitive practices, the necessity of correcting such practices shall be taken into account and the revocation of the grant may be denied if it is considered probable that the conditions that caused that granting have been repeated.

2) The person to whom the compulsory license is granted must begin its exploitation within two years of the granting of the license to him.

3) When the patent protects any semiconductor technology, compulsory licenses shall be granted only for non-commercial public use, or to rectify a practice declared to be contrary to competition.

4) A compulsory license may be completely or partially revoked by the court created by this Code, upon request by the holder, if the circumstances that gave rise to the Iicense have ceased to exist and it is improbable that they will again arise, so long as such revocation does not affect the legiti mate interests of the licensee.

5) A compulsory license can be modified by the court created by this Code, upon application by an interested party, when so justified by new facts or circumstances.

Article 45.- Compulsory License in the Case of Dependent Patents

1) When an invention claimed in a subsequent patent cannot be exploited in this country without infringing an earlier patent, the General Agency for Industrial Property, upon the request of the holder of the first mentioned patent or of his licensee, or of the beneficiary of a compulsory license for that patent, may grant a compulsory license with regard to the earlier patent insofar as may be necessaryto avoid the infringement.

2) The compulsory license shall be granted only when the invention claimed in the subsequent patent implies an important technical advance of considerable economic significance with regard to the invention claimed in the earlier patent.

3) When a compulsory license is granted in conformity with numeral 1, a compulsory license may be granted in the same circumstances with regard to the later patent, if the holder of the earlier patent, his licensee or the beneficiary of a compulsory license for said earlier patent applies for it.

4) A compulsory license of those sel forth in this article cannot be granted as exclusive. This compulsory license can only be the object of transfer simultaneously with the dependent patent the industrial exploitation of which requires the license. The transfer of the compulsory license shall be subject to the provisions of Article 32, numeral 2, insofar as is appropriate.

5) The provisions of Articles 43 and 44, insofar as they are appropriate, are applicable to the licenses set forth in this article.

Article 46.- Public Interest licenses

For reasons of public interest, and in particular for reasons of emergency or national security declared by the Executive Power, the General Agency for Industrial Property, at the request of any interested person or competent authority, or on its own initiative, shall at any time order the following:

a) that an invention which is the object of a patent or patent application being processed be exploited by a government agency or by one or more public or private persons designated for the purpose.

b) that an invention that is the object of a patent or of a patent application being processed be open for the granting of licenses in the public interest, in which case the General Agency for Industrial Property shall grant a license for exploitation to any person who applies for it and hasthe ability to carry out such exploitation in this country.

Article 47.- Conditions for Public Interest Licenses

1) Every public interest license implies the corresponding payment to the patent holder. After prior hearing of the parties, and in the absence of an agreement, the amount and method of payment shall be set by the General Agency for Industrial Property, according to Articles 44, literal g).

2) A public interest license can refer to the execution of any of the actions referred to in Article 29, numeral 1.

3) The provisions of Articles 43 and 44, insofar as appropriate, are applicable to the granting of public interest licenses.

4) The granting of a compulsory license by reason of public interest shall not diminish the right of the patent holder to continue exploiting it.

Article 48.- Revocation of the Patent in Case of Abuse

1) At the request of any interested person or of any competent authority, the General Agency for Industrial Property can revoke a patent when the rights conferred by the patent are abused with regard to anti-competitive practices or abuse of a dominant market position in such a way that the national economy is unduly affected.

2) The request for revocation may not be presented until two years have passed counting from the date of granting of the first compulsory license.