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In this paper, the 1+1 protection schemes for the prioritized paths within the dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) network are proposed. Two basic methods, named the link-shared and the link-disjointed, are proposed for the selection of the backup path. The link-disjointed scheme provides a better reliability for the arrangement of communication paths; however, the link-shared scheme has a better probability to setup the backup paths and can achieve a higher utilization of network resource. These two basic schemes are then applied for the arrangement of the prioritized paths with different reliability demands. The experimental results illustrate that the proposed method can effectively allocate the backup paths according to the priority of the reliability requirements. The protection switching time is also considered.