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10. Industrial and Intellectual Property

Bulgarian law provides protection for intellectual and industrial property rights, including copyright and related rights, trademarks, patents, utility models, geographical indications and industrial design.

 

The rules which give legal protection are the same for foreign and local individuals. Along with the national legal regime, European and international treaties apply. The registration under European and international treaties has the same legal effect as direct registration in Bulgaria.

 

 

Copyright and related rights

 

Subject to copyright is any work of literature, art and science, which is the result of creative activity and expressed in any way in any tangible form. Copyright protection lasts for the lifetime of the as well as 70 years after their death. The contract for the use of a copyright work can be executed for a period of up to 10 years even if concluded for a longer period (an exception is provided for contracts relating to works of architecture).

 

 

Patents


The legal protection of patentable inventions and utility models is granted by patent, and respectively certificate for registration of utility model. Patents are granted for inventions in all fields of technology which are new, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable. Utility models can be registered if they are new, industrially applicable and have an inventive step.


The patent and registration with the Patent Office shall have effect with respect to third parties from the date of publication in the official bulletin of the Office. At the request of the applicant, any patent application may receive national or international priority from the date of an earlier application.


The term of the patent is twenty years as of the date of filing. The duration of a utility model registration is four years as of the date of filing, but may be extended for two successive periods of three years each.

 

Issuance of an invention patent pursuant to a national application

Legal framework

  • The Law on Patents and Utility Model Registration; the Regulation on the Drafting, Filing and Examination of Patent Applications.

Procedure

  • Filing the application with the Patent Office

Required documents

  • Fixed-form patent application;
  • Description disclosing at least the essence of the invention (3 copies);
  • Patent claims (3 copies);
  • Drawings if necessary for clarifying the invention (3 copies);
  • Abstract (3 copies);
  • Statement and priority certificate according to a sample form if priority is claimed;
  • Fixed-form power of attorney of the industrial property representative if the applicant files the application through an attorney;
  • Document evidencing the payment of the relevant fees;
  • Fixed-form statement of preparedness to license, in case the applicant has expressed such wish;
  • Fixed-form statement regarding the actual inventor if the applicant is not the inventor.

Terms

  • Information of the invention application shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Patent Office 18 months after its filing or the priority date.

 

Issuance of a certificate of utility model registration pursuant to a national application

Legal framework

  • The Law on Patents and Utility Model Registration.

Procedure

  • Filing the application with the Patent Office

Required documents

  • Fixed-form application for registration;
  • Description of the utility model (2 copies);
  • Claims (2 copies);
  • Drawings, if necessary (2 copies);
  • Abstract;
  • Statement and priority certificate according to a sample form if priority is claimed;
  • Fixed-form power of attorney of the industrial property representative if the applicant files the application through an attorney;
  • Document evidencing the payment of the relevant fees;
  • Fixed-form statement regarding the actual inventor if the applicant is not the inventor.

Terms

  • Information about utility models is published in the Official Gazette of the Patent Office after the registration.

 

 

Trademarks

 

The trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and can be graphically depicted.

 

A trademark is acquired by registration with the Patent Office from the date of filing with effect with respect to third parties as from the date of publication of registration. For trademark earlier priority may also be requested.

 

The duration of trademark registration is 10 years as of the date of filing. Registration may be renewed indefinitely for further periods of up to 10 years. If the registration holder has not actually started the use of the trademark in Bulgaria for a period of 5 years from the date of registration, or has discontinued its use for a period of 5 years, registration may be cancelled.

 


Geographical Indications


Geographical indications refer to origin and geographical indications of goods. The right to apply for geographical indications belongs to any person who carries out production activities in the specific geographical location and the produced goods conform with the established properties or characteristics.

 


Industrial Design


Industrial design is the appearance of a product or part thereof, determined by specific features of the shape, lines, contours, ornamentation, colors or combination of those features.

The right to industrial design is acquired through registration with the Patent Office as of the date of filing the application for registration. Designs which are new and original can be registered.


The duration of the registration of industrial designs is 10 years from the date of filing. Registration may be renewed for three successive periods of 5 years.

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The provisions of Bulgarian legislation apply in the same manner to foreign citizens and legal entities of States - parties to international treaties to which Bulgaria is a party. To foreign citizens and legal persons from other countries, Bulgarian law applies on condition of reciprocity, as determined by the Patent Office. When a bilateral agreement is concluded, its provisions shall apply.

 

International registrations of

  • patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty,
  • trademarks under the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol,
  • designation of origin under the Lisbon Agreement and
  • industrial designs under the Hague Agreement which

 

in which the Republic of Bulgaria is indicted shall have the same effect as if they were directly applied for and registered in Bulgaria.