BULGARIAN TRADEMARKS

Definition

Marks are signs that are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of other persons and can be represented graphically. Such signs may be words, including the names of persons, or letters, numerals, drawings, figures, the shape of the article or its packaging, a combination of colours, sound signals or any combination of such elements.

A mark may be a trademark, a service mark, a collective mark or a certification mark.

Acquisition of the Rights in a Mark

The rights in a mark shall be acquired by registration as of the filing date of the application.
The first to file shall have the right to register.
The right to a mark shall be an exclusive right.

Registration Procedure

As of March 10, 2011 with the radical amendments to the Bulgarian Law on Marks and Geographical Indications, the Bulgarian Patent Office performs only formality and absolute grounds examination of the trademark applications. The Official examination based on the relative grounds for refusal is no longer performed.

The new Opposition System is very close to the OHIM trademarks registration procedure and therefore provides to the Bulgarian business conditions identical to those existing in the European Union.

Term for Filing Opposition

The term for filing an opposition against a national trademark application based on the relative grounds is three months as of the date of the publication in the Official Bulletin of the Bulgarian Patent Office.

Oppositions against the International Registrations could be filed between the sixth and the ninth month after the publication date in the Official Bulletin of the Bulgarian Patent Office.

Term of Validity of Registration

Marks shall be registered for a period of ten years following the filing date of the application.
Registration may be renewed for an unlimited number of further ten-year periods.

Obligation to Use the Mark

If, within a period of five years following registration, the holder of the mark has not put it to genuine use on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered, or if such use has been suspended for an uninterrupted period of five years, the registration may be revoked, unless there are convincing reasons for the non-use.

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.