BULGARIAN DESIGNS

Definition

Industrial Design means the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the specific features of the shape, lines, contours, ornamentation, colours, or combination thereof.

For the purposes of the Law, product means any industrial or handicraft article, including parts intended to be assembled into a complex article, sets or compositions of articles, packaging, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, computer programs excluded.

Acquisition of Rights in Designs

The right in a design shall be acquired through registration with the Bulgarian Patent Office as of the filing date of an application for registration. The right in a design shall be an exclusive right.

Grounds for Registration

A design shall be registered if it is new and has an individual character.

Novelty

A design shall be considered new if prior to the filing date or the priority date of the application no identical design has been made available to the public by means of publication, use, registration or otherwise disclosed anywhere in the world.

Designs shall be considered to be identical if their specific features differ in immaterial details only.

Individual Character

A design shall be considered to have an individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed consumer differs from the overall impression produced by a design that has been made available to the public before the filing date or the priority date of the application for registration.

Registration Procedure

As of February 12, 2011 with the radical amendments to the Bulgarian Law on Industrial Designs, the registration procedure no longer includes an Official examination concerning Novelty.

The new registration procedure includes only an Official Examination of the Formal Requirements, and if they are fulfilled, the Industrial Design shall be registered and published.

The new Registration System is identical to the OHIM Designs registration procedure and therefore provides to the Bulgarian business conditions identical to those existing in the European Union.

The main advantage of the new system is the considerable shortening of the time necessary for the registration of a Design.

Multiple Applications

Several designs may be filed in one multiple application on condition that the products in which the designs are incorporated or to which they are applied belong to the same class of the International Classification of Industrial Designs under the Locarno Agreement or to the same set or composition of articles.

Additional fees shall be paid for each design following the first one in a multiple application.

Duration of Registration

Designs shall be registered for a period of 10 years following the filing date of the application.

Registration may be renewed for three successive periods of 5 years each.

Representation

Persons with no permanent address or headquarters in the Republic of Bulgaria shall act in proceedings before the Patent Office through a local industrial property representative.