WIPO Director General Meets President of the Dominican Republic

Geneva, December 1, 2010

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry met on November 30, 2010 with the President of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Leonel Fernández, and addressed an audience of 200 people in the National Palace of the Republic. He focused on the innovation potential of the Dominican Republic and the strong collaborative initiatives that are underway in conjunction with WIPO, including in particular, support in designing and implementing a national innovation and intellectual property strategy, significant office automation and digitization projects, better use of trademarks and appellations of origin, and the development of a Start-up Intellectual Property Academy. 

In the past few years, the Dominican Republic has placed special emphasis on the development of its agricultural sector, with activities for the effective use of the intellectual property system, in particular distinctive signs. This month, the first appellation of origin was granted to "Café Valdesia”. Mr. Gurry noted the importance of geographical indications as a means of differentiating products within an increasingly globalized and ever-more standardized market place.  He further underlined the enormous potential that geographical indications and, more broadly, brands and designs, offer, in particular to developing countries, in terms of allowing them to reap the benefits of added value based on unique characteristics attributable to domestic natural and cultural wealth. 

In addition, during his two-day official visit, the Director General met with the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Ligia Amada Melo de Cardona, and was briefed on implementation of the Strategic National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (2008-2018). Mr. Gurry also met with the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr. José Ramón Fadul, to discuss matters relating to IP and trade. 

In a meeting with the President of the Senate, Mr. Reinaldo Pared Pérez, Mr. Gurry said that WIPO is prepared to provide any technical or legislative advice that would support further engagement by the Dominican Republic with the international IP system, including possible accession to the Madrid system for the international registration of trademarks, which is currently under consideration by the Senate. 

Mr. Gurry also met with the Director of the National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI) of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Juan José Báez, and the Director or the National Copyright Office (ONDA), Mr. Marino Felix Terrero. The Director General signed a memorandum of understanding which commits WIPO’s support for the country’s capacity building efforts.

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