To provide the service, the applicant files a patent application in a form. Applicants who do not have a permanent address or registered office in the Republic of Bulgaria must perform actions before the Patent Office through a local industrial property representative. When there are several applicants and one of them is a Bulgarian natural or legal person, the authorization of a representative is not obligatory. In this case, an address for correspondence in the Republic of Bulgaria must be specified.
The application can be submitted in the following ways:
The following documents are attached to the application:
When the application is submitted electronically, the scanned images of the specified documents shall be attached.
Where the application is filed by e-mail or by means of communication transmitting a facsimile or electronic copy, the original of the application shall be submitted to the Patent Office within one month. In this case, the date of application shall be considered the date of receipt of the application by e-mail.
The submission of the application with a qualified electronic signature is required for filing through the portal for electronic administrative services of the Patent Office.
After receiving the application, a regularity check is performed, related to the so-called "Establishment of the date of submission of the application". An expert shall examine whether the following is submitted:
In the presence of all prerequisites, the expert dates the application. The applicant shall be notified in writing of its entering number and the date of submission.
In case any of the prerequisites is not met, the applicant shall be notified that the application shall be deemed not to have been filed.
Where the application is filed by fax or electronically and meets the dating requirements, and the original is received at the Patent Office after the one month period, the filing date shall be deemed to be the date of receipt of the original documents by the Office.
Within one month from the date of filing the application, when the applicant is a Bulgarian citizen with a permanent address in the Republic of Bulgaria or a legal entity established in the Republic of Bulgaria, a check is made whether the application contains classified information within the meaning of the Classified Information Protection Act.
When the application was filed as a secret patent application and after checking for classified information, no security classification level was determined, the Patent Office shall notify the applicant that the application does not contain a secret invention, and shall request his explicit consent to examine it in the general order.If such consent is not obtained within three months, the application shall be deemed withdrawn.
Within one month from the check for the presence of classified information, if such is required, or from the submission of an application by a foreign applicant for each application with a set submission date, an inspection for fulfillment of the formal requirements to the application shall be performed.
If deficiencies are found, the applicant shall be notified and given a period of three months to remedy them. If the applicant does not respond within this period or does not eliminate the deficiencies, a decision is made to terminate the proceedings or withdrawal of the application.
In the course of this stage it is checked whether evidence has been presented in view of the claim made for priority and whether the fee for the claim has been paid. In case the claim for priority is not made in accordance with the legal requirements, the applicant shall be notified and given one month to respond. If the applicant does not respond or objects unreasonably, he shall be notified that the priority claim has not been granted.
Within three months from the completion of the formal examination, a preliminary examination of the essence of the invention shall be performed (as disclosed in the claims and the description). If deficiencies are found, the applicant shall be notified and given three months to remedy them. If the applicant does not respond within this term or does not eliminate the deficiencies, a decision is made to terminate the proceedings.
At the same time, a check is made for the unity of the application (whether the application is only for one invention or for a group of inventions, which are connected so as to form a common inventive concept). In case of non-compliance with the requirements for unity, the expert proposes to the applicant to divide the application within three months term. If within this period the applicant submits separate applications for the separated parts, as date of submission, respectively the date of priority, shall be considered the date of the initially submitted application, respectively the priority. If the applicant does not reply within this period, objects unreasonably or fails to remedy the deficiencies, a decision shall be taken to terminate the proceedings.
An examination of the admissibility of legal protection of the invention shall be carried out within the same period. If deficiencies are found, the applicant shall be notified and given a three-month period for an opinion. If the applicant does not respond or objects unreasonably, a decision shall be taken to refuse to grant a patent.
For the application on which the fee for research and expertise and the fee for publication of the application have been paid within the term established by law, a publication shall be made in the official bulletin of the Patent Office immediately after the expiration of the 18th month from the date of submission, respectively from the priority date. At the request of the applicant, accompanied by a document for paid fee, the publication of the application may be made before the expiration of this period.
Within three months of the publication of the application, any person may make written objections to the patentability of the claimed invention, supported by evidence. The persons who filed an objection do not become participants in the proceedings on the application.
For each application for which the fees for study and expertise and the fee for publication of the application have been paid, the state of the art is examined and a report on the study is prepared, as well as a written opinion on the patentability of the invention.
The report, the opinion on the patentability of the invention and the written objections of third parties, if any, shall be sent to the applicant no later than 6 months from the expiry of the period for objections by third parties, except in cases where the study found a conflicting request, when the report and the opinion are sent after its publication. Within three months of receiving them, the applicant may make changes to the application and comment on the opinion and the received objections.
If it is established that the invention is not patentable and the applicant does not respond within the response term, does not eliminate the deficiencies or unreasonably objects, a decision shall be taken to refuse to grant a patent.
If it is established that the claimed invention is patentable, but the description and / or patent claims do not meet the regulatory requirements, the expert invites the applicant to correct them within three months. If within the given term the applicant does not make the necessary corrections, does not respond or objects unreasonably, the expert shall decide to terminate the proceedings on the application.
If after the expertise and correspondence with the applicant it is established, that the invention is patentable and the other regulatory requirements are met, a written notice is sent for payment of the annual fees and fees for issuing and publishing a patent. Fees shall be paid within three months of receipt of the notice, and if the applicant does not pay within the specified period, fees may be paid additionally within one month in double amount.
A decision to grant a patent shall be taken when the relevant annual fees and fees for the grant and publication of a patent have been paid. If the fees are not paid, the application is considered withdrawn.
A publication for the grant of a patent shall be made in the official bulletin of the Patent Office. Within one month from the publication a patent is granted and the description, claims and drawings to the patent shall be published.
Changes in the application may be made in the proceedings on the application until a decision is made. If the publication is not made and the applicant makes changes to the application on his own initiative, he should pay a relevant fee. The changes cannot go beyond the original disclosure in the application.
The patent application may be withdrawn by a written application of the applicant if no patent has already been granted.