PATENT OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

Procedure

The administrative penal activity of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria is carried out in connection with the search for administrative penal liability for committed administrative violations in relation to rights over:

  • Registered trademarks operating on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria - trademarks registered under national order; European Union trade marks; international registrations of trademarks with effect on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Registered geographical indications, operating on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria - geographical indications, registered by national order; geographical indications with effect on the territory of the European Union; international registrations of appellations of origin with effect on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Registered industrial designs operating on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria - industrial designs registered under national order; registered industrial designs of the European Union; international registrations of industrial designs with effect on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria

The separate corpus delicti of administrative violations are provided in Art. 127 of the Trademarks and Geographical Indications Act (TGIA) in connection with registered trademarks and geographical indications, as well as in Art. 65 of the Industrial Design Act (IDA) in connection with registered industrial designs, and the procedure for carrying out the administrative penal proceedings is regulated in the Administrative Violations and Penalties Act (AVPA), TGIA and IDA.

The proceedings before the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria may be initiated by the Office, at the signal of third parties and on the basis of materials sended by the court or the prosecutor's office. The administrative penal proceedings are instituted:

  • By drawing up an act for establishing an administrative violation (AEAV) after an on-site inspection or on documents
  • On the basis of materials submitted by competence in connection with the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings or termination of criminal proceedings

In connection with initiated proceedings on the basis of AEAV for committed administrative violation under the TGIA, a special procedure for service of the act is provided in case the violator was not present at its drawing up. According to Art. 129, para. 3 of the TGIA when the act cannot be served through the respective municipal administration or through the bodies of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), on the bulletin board and on the website of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria is published a notice of its compilation for a period of not less than 7 days. If within 14 days from the removal of the notice the violator does not appear in the office for presentation and signing of the act, this shall be noted in the act and it shall be considered served on the day of the noting.

After drawing up and handing over to the AEAV, respectively receiving the materials sent by competence from the court or the prosecutor's office, an assessment is made of the evidence gathered in the course of the proceedings, the infringer's objections, if any, and whether the procedural rules for the administrative penal proceedings provided for in AVPA have been observed. In case the administrative violation is proved and in the course of the proceedings no significant procedural violations have been committed or the committed ones have been duly remedied, the Chairman of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria or a Deputy Chairman authorized by him shall issue a penal decree, by which he may impose a fine on a natural person or a property sanction on a sole trader or legal entity, within the limits of the minimum and maximum amounts provided for the respective administrative violation. The penal decree confiscates in favor of the state the items that were the subject of the administrative violation, and after its entry into force, they are handed over to the bodies of the Ministry of Interior for destruction.

The issued penal decree may be appealed before the respective district court in the area where the administrative violation was committed or completed, and the decision of the district court may be appealed before the respective administrative court.

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