PATENT OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

Electronic trademark application

Purpose of the service

By providing the administrative service, a right to a trademark is acquired, as of the date of filing the application. The right to a trade mark includes the right of its holder to use it, to dispose of it and to prohibit third parties from using a mark which is identical or similar to it in commercial activity without his/her consent. The prohibition on use shall include the affixing of the mark on goods or their packaging, the offering or placing on the market of goods bearing that mark or their placing on the market, and the offering or provision of services bearing that mark, the importation or exportation of goods with this mark and the use of the mark in commercial papers and in advertisements .

Where the mark is owned by several persons and no other agreement has been reached between them, each of them may use it in full. The right to dispose of the trademark (to transfer it, to conclude license agreements, to pledge and provide it as collateral) is exercised jointly by all co-owners, and their written consent must be present.

Name of the administrative service and unique identifier according to the Register of Services

455 Trademark registration

Legal ground

Trademarks and Geographical Indications Act - Art. 10

Recipient of the administrative service

Recipients of the service can be both Bulgarian individuals and legal entities, as well as foreign ones. Foreign individuals and legal entities perform actions before the Patent Office through an industrial property representative. When there are several applicants for a trademark application and one of them is a Bulgarian natural or legal person, the authorization of a representative is not mandatory. In this case the address for correspondence in the Republic of Bulgaria must be indicated.  Bulgarian law does not necessarily require the applicant to be a manufacturing or trading company that produces or trades in the goods, respectively to perform the services for which he wishes to register the mark.

Restrictions and conventions

The level of identification for the service in accordance with Art. 8 of Regulation (EU) 910/2014 is "significant".

Language in which the service is provided

The service is provided in Bulgarian. The application through which the service can be requested is also available in English, but the request is always submitted in Bulgarian.

Fee for providing the service and methods of payment

The amount of the due fee is determined in Art. 4 of the Tariff for fees collected by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The payment of the fee is made in stages, according to the stages of providing the service. Fees can be paid at the cash desk of the Patent Office or transferred by bank transfer. When the application is submitted electronically through a publicly accessible web-based application, the fee can be paid electronically through the ePay system.

Procedure for providing the service

Trademark registration goes through several main stages, which are stages of the implementation of a legally regulated procedure, as follows:

Applying for trademark registration

To receive the service, the applicant submits an application for registration of a trademark according to a form.

The following documents are attached to the application:

  • power of attorney when the application is submitted through an industrial property representative;
  • priority document, when priority is claimed;
  • document for paid fees  
  • rules for the use of the collective or certificate mark where registration of such a mark is sought.

When the application is submitted electronically, the scanned images of the specified documents are attached.

A signature with a qualified electronic signature is not required for filing through the portal for electronic administrative services of the Patent Office.

When submitting an application through the portal for electronic administrative services to the Patent Office, submission of an original of the application is not required.

Upon receipt of the request, it is registered as received. After registration of the applications, they are submitted to the competent directorate for performing actions on dating the application..

Dating the request

At this stage, a check is made for regularity related to the so-called "Establishing the date of submission of the application". The expert checks whether the following are submitted:

  • the application for registration;
  • the name and address of the applicant;
  • presentation of the mark whose protection is sought;
  • a list of the goods and / or services for which registration is requested;
  • the rules for use of a collective or certificate mark - in the cases when registration of a collective or certificate mark is applied for.

In case the specified requirements are met, the expert shall date the application by entering it in the incoming register of applications for trademarks of the PO with incoming number and filing date.

In the event that the application does not meet the requirements for dating the application, a notification shall be sent to the applicant notifying that the application is considered not to have been submitted.

Check for paid fees

In the course of this stage it is checked to what extent the formal requirements for regularity of the submitted application have been met, namely for each application with a set submission date it is checked whether a document for paid fees is attached.  If there are some unpaid fees, the applicant is given a 14-day period to eliminate this shortcoming by sending him a notice to pay the necessary fees. Up to 14 days after the expiration of this period, the fees can be paid in double amount. If the fees are not paid within the stipulated amount within the same term, the application shall be considered withdrawn and a decision for termination shall be sent to the applicant.

Formal expertise

Within one month from the presentation of the document for paid fees, a formal expertise is performed. In case of deficiencies, the applicant shall be notified and given one month to rectify them. If within this period the applicant does not eliminate the deficiencies, the proceedings shall be terminated by a decision of a state expert. Where the examination reveals that the application does not relate to a single mark, within the said period of one month, the applicant may divide the application, as the split applications retain the filing date or the priority date of the original application. Upon division of the application, a fee for application and expertise is paid, and the content of the divided application must not differ from the content of the original application.

Expertise on the merits

Within two months from the completion of the formal examination or from the publication of the international registration in the official bulletin of the Patent Office, an examination shall be carried out as to the existence of absolute grounds for refusal. Where there are grounds for refusal for all or part of the goods or services, the applicant shall be notified, stating the reasons for the refusal and given a two-month period for objection. If, within that period, the applicant does not reply, object unreasonably or does not limit the list of goods or services, a decision on total or partial refusal shall be taken. In case of a decision for complete refusal, within 2 months from its receipt, the applicant has the opportunity to file an appeal against the decision for refusal. In case of partial refusal, the applicant has the opportunity within one month from the receipt of the decision or in the proceedings for review of appeals against decisions for refusal to submit a request for division of the application.

First publication

Within one month after the completion of the expertise on the existence of absolute grounds for refusal, any application that meets the requirements of the law shall be published in the official bulletin of the Patent Office. International registrations to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a designated party shall be published within one month of notifying the Office of the international registration.

Within three months from the date of publication of the application, any person may file an objection to the registration of the mark or opposition.

Registration and publication of the registered trademark

Within 7 days from the expiration of the term under Art. 52, para. 1, when no opposition or objection has been filed, or respectively from the entry into force of the decision for rejection in whole or in part of the opposition as unfounded, a decision for registration of the trademark shall be taken. The trademark shall be entered in the State Register of Trademarks and shall be published in the Official Bulletin of the Patent Office within one month from the date of the decision. The applicant shall receive issued certificate for registration of the mark within 14 days after payment of a fee of BGN 50, according to Art. 4, para. 1, item 6 of the Tariff of Fees. If the payment is made by bank transfer, you should present in the PO a document for the ordered bank transfer. The certificate may be obtained after the expiration of the above term in the Registry of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria or by mail, upon submission of a written request.

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