PATENT OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

Registration of geographical indications

Instructions for filling, preparing and submitting of an application for registration of a geographical indication with the Patent Office

The application must contain:

  • request for registration of only one geographical indication;
  • data of the applicant;
  • details of the representative when authorized;
  • the designation of origin or geographical indication;
  • indication of the product;
  • a description of the boundaries of the geographical location, which are documented with an attached map or sketch on which they are outlined;
  • a description of the product, which must include details of the basic physical, chemical, microbiological and / or organoleptic characteristics of the product and, if necessary, of the raw materials. The traditional local method of production of the product is also described, as well as the characteristics of the product, indicating its connection with the geographical environment or with the geographical origin. If the application is for a designation of origin, the description must indicate the influence of natural and human factors on the properties or characteristics of the product.

The applicant must attach the following documents to the application for registration:

  • a copy of the order of the head of the relevant central office, which determines the boundaries of the geographical location and the qualities or features of the product, as well as the connection of these qualities or features with the geographical environment or with the geographical origin;
  • certificate from the respective municipality that the applicant carries out its production activity in the designated geographical place.

To the application shall be attached a document for fees paid under The tariff for fees collected by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Each received application for registration of a geographical indication is subjected to a formal expertise, which verifies whether the requirements for proper processing of the application are met and whether the listed documents are attached to the application.

Upon finding deficiencies in the application, the applicant is given a three-month period to eliminate them. If the deficiencies are not eliminated within this period, the proceedings on the application shall be terminated.

For each application that meets the requirements for formal regularity a substantive expertise, is carried out, which includes a check of the grounds for refusal, which are the following:

  • a name which has become on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria a generic name of goods of a certain type without being connected with the place of their production shall not be registered as a geographical indication;
  • no geographical indication identical to the name of a previously protected plant variety or animal breed shall be registered where consumers are likely to be misled as to the true origin of the product;
  • no geographical indication which is identical to a geographical indication or trade mark previously registered for identical goods shall be registered;
  • no geographical indication which is identical or similar to a geographical indication or trade mark previously registered for identical or similar goods shall be registered where consumers are likely to be misled.

Where there are grounds for refusing to register a geographical indication, the applicant shall be notified, stating all the reasons for the refusal and given a three-month period for objections. If no reasonable objections are received within this period, a decision shall be taken to refuse the registration.When it is established that the requested geographical indication meets the requirements of the law, a decision for registration is made, the geographical indication shall be entered in the State Register of Geographical Indications and the applicant shall be entered as a user and a certificate of use of the geographical indication must be issued within one month.

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