PATENT OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

Industrial designs summary

According to the current Industrial Design Act (IDA), the procedure for registration of industrial designs, which is being developed in the Patent Office, contains the following: the expert proceedings on the application include verification of whether the application meets the requirements for formal regularity and whether it satisfies the criteria set out in Art. 3 and Art. 11, para. 2, item 1 of the IDA, namely whether the claimed site is a design within the meaning of the IDA and whether it does not contradict public order or good manners. If the application for industrial design meets the above conditions, a registration decision is issued and the design is published in the Official Bulletin of the Office. Thus, the acquisition of the exclusive right over the registered designs under the OCA envisages a procedure that takes place in a very short period of time.

The registration regime for designs under the FDA is harmonized with the Community design registration system under Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002. This regime for obtaining legal protection of designs is undoubtedly beneficial for society, as applicants in Bulgaria receive rights under the same conditions when filing an application with the Patent Office, the European Intellectual Property Office or in other European countries. However, the main advantage of the system is the reduced time for conducting the design registration procedure.

It is obvious that the absence of an official inspection for novelty of the design requires the economic entities that offer or are preparing to produce products to follow the publications for registered designs in the Official Bulletin of the PO or in the freely available database of industrial designs on the one hand, in order to protect against infringement of rights of others and, on the other hand, to request the cancellation of the registration in the presence of materials challenging the novelty and / or originality of the designs.

It is important to note that the IDA provides an opportunity, if the fees for application and expertise and registration fees are not paid within the provided one-month period, they will be paid in double amount within one month after the expiration of the provided period.

Also deserves attention the possibility provided for in Art. 48a - 48c to postpone the publication of an already registered design. This possibility is given in order for the applicant to study the market and the competition and to keep the design secret from this competition for a certain period of time.

Experience shows that the current IDA meets the expectations of users of the system by providing a registration procedure that corresponds to the established market relations in our country and achieves full compliance of the regime of protection of designs on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria with the regime provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 on the Community designs, and in a significant part of the Member States of the European Union.   

Additional services that the Patent Office provides to the public for industrial design

  • Entry of changes in the legal status of claimed or protected objects of industrial property, including: change of name and / or address of an applicant, right holder or author; transfer of rights; registration of a license; waiver of right; renewal of industrial design registration; other changes in legal status.
  • References and extracts from the State Register
  • Methodological help and assistance in using the Locarno classification
  • Methodological assistance and assistance with regard to studies, inquiries and other services for industrial designs
  • Consultations on general issues of protection of industrial design as an object of industrial property
  • Studies for novelty in industrial design
  • Duplicates of protective documents   
  • Issuance of priority certificates
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