UTILITY MODELS

Definition

Legal protection for utility models shall be granted through registration with the Patent Office. Utility models shall be registered, which are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.

Registration Procedure

In contrast to the patent procedure, the utility model procedure do not include an Official examination concerning novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. The procedure includes only an official examination of the formal requirements, and if they are fulfilled, the utility model shall be registered and published.

Exceptions

No utility model registration shall be granted to biotechnological inventions, methods and chemical compounds or the use thereof.

Term of Validity

The term of validity of a utility model registration shall be 4 years as of the filing date of the application. It may be extended by two consecutive three-year periods. The total term of validity may not exceed 10 years as of the filing date of the application.

Parallel Applications

The applicant in a patent application may also file an application for utility model registration for the same invention, invoking the filing date and the priority date of the patent application. This right may be asserted before the expiration of two months of the date of receipt of the decision on the patent application of the Examination Department or the Disputes Department, but not later that 10 years following the filing date of the patent application.

Transformation

The applicant may file a request for transformation of the patent application into an application for utility model registration . The transformed application shall preserve the filing date and the priority date of the initially filed patent application, which is deemed to be withdrawn.

Representation

Applicants with no permanent address or principle place of business in the Republic of Bulgaria shall be required to act in proceedings before the Patent Office through a local industrial property representative.