PATENT OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

Possibility for registration

National registration

The right to a design is acquired through its registration with the Patent Office.

The right of application belongs to the author or his assignee.

Any person who has a permanent address or registered office in the Republic of Bulgaria may file an application for industrial design with the Patent Office in person or through a local industrial property representative. Persons who do not have a permanent address or registered office in the Republic of Bulgaria are obliged to file applications for industrial designs with the Patent Office through an Industrial Property Representative.

To obtain a design registration, it is necessary to file an application with the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria - directly, by mail, by fax or electronically. Where the application is by fax, the originals of the documents must be received at the Patent Office within one month of the date of the facsimile. The date of dispatch of the facsimile must be clearly indicated on the original documents sent.

Designs not subject to registration:

  • which are contrary to public order or morals;
  • design, the features of which are determined solely by the technical function of the product;
  • design, the specific features of which are due to the need for the product to which the design is incorporated or to which the design is attached to be mechanically connected or placed in, around or against another product so that both products perform their functions except design, whose purpose is to make possible the multiple assembly or connection of interchangeable products in a modular system.

Scope of legal protection

The scope of legal protection is determined by the image, respectively by the images of the registered design and extends to each design, which does not create in the informed user a different overall perception.

Right to authorship

The person created design shall have the right to authorship under the IDA. This right shall be termless and not transferable. 

When the design has been created by two or more persons the right to ownership occurs for all the persons and they shall be co-authors.

The author or the co-authors of the design shall be pointed out in the certificate for registration and in the publication about it which shall be monitored ex officio by the Patent Office.

Previous use

A person who till the date of submitting an application for registration of a design has use in good faith the design on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria or who has implemented the necessary preparation for this shall have the right to use it in the same extent also after this date.

Announcement not affecting the novelty

The announcement of a design - subject to application for registration, shall not affect its novelty when this announcement is made in 12 months term before the date of submitting the application, respectively the priority, by:

  • the author, his legal successor or a third person as a result of information or activity of the author or of his legal successor;
  • third party to the detriment of the author.

Right to priority

Right to priority of the applicant shall be recognised from the date of the previous application under the condition that:

  • the previous application has been regularly submitted in the Republic of Bulgaria, in a member country of the Paris convention or of the World Trade Organisation;
  • the previous application is first application is first application in the sense of Art. 4 of the Paris convention and in it the same design has been found;
  • the application has been submitted to the Patent Office in 6 - months term from the date of submitting the previous application;
  • the claim for priority has been made at latest in 2 - months term from the date of submitting the application according to Art. 31, para 2 pointing out the date and the country of the previous application; and in three months term after the date of submitting the application the applicant pays fee for priority and presents priority certificate issued by the competent body of the country where the previous application has bee submitted.

For the date of submitting the application shall be considered the date on which at the Patent Office have been received:

  • the application for registration;
  • the name and the address of the applicant;
  • one or several graphic or photographic images revealing clearly and comprehensively the design for which protection is required.

The following shall also be attached to the application:

  • document for paid application fee, expertise and priority;
  • power of attorney, when the application is submitted through an industrial property representative;
  • declaration of priority and priority certificate, as well as paid priority fee (if priority is claimed);
  • request for postponement of the publication of the registration.

For each application with a set filing date, it is checked whether a document for paid fees for application and expertise is attached. Where such a document is not attached, the applicant shall be given one month to remedy this deficiency. Up to one month after the expiration of this period, the fees may be paid in double amount. If the fees are not paid within this period, the application is considered withdrawn. 

The documents and data are presented in Bulgarian. When they are presented in another language, in order to preserve the filing date, it is necessary to present them in Bulgarian within two months from that date.

Within two months from the presentation of the document for paid fees, a formal expertise is performed. Where deficiencies are identified in the course of the formal expertise, the applicant shall be notified and given a two-month period to remedy them. If within this period the applicant does not respond, does not eliminate the deficiencies or unreasonably objects, a decision shall be made to terminate the proceedings. 

Within two months from the completion of the formal expertise, an examination shall be carried out on each application as to whether the requested design (s) meet the criteria set forth in Art. 3 and Art. 11, para. 2, item 1 of the IDA, namely, whether the claimed object is a design within the meaning of the IDA and whether it does not contradict public order or good manners.

If the requested industrial design (s) meets the above conditions, after payment of registration and publication fees a decision for registration is issued and the design is published in the Official Bulletin of the PO. If the requested design (s) does not meet the specified requirements after correspondence with the applicant a decision is made to refuse registration. Decisions to terminate the proceedings on the application or to refuse the registration may be appealed within three months before the PO.

Deferment of the publication

There is a possibility for the applicant to request with the submission of the application a deferment of the publication of the registration of the design, if it is registered, for a period of up to 30 months from the date of submission of the application, respectively from the priority date.

In case of multiple requests, postponement of the publication may be requested only for some of the designs.

The request for postponement of the publication of a registered design should be accompanied by a document for paid fee for this, determined by the Tariff for fees collected by the PO.

Multiple application

It is possible to include several designs in one application if the products in which the designs are included or to which they are attached belong to the same class of the International Classification of Industrial Designs under the Locarno Agreement or to the same set or composition of articles. When the products in which the designs are included or to which they are attached are ornaments, this condition does not apply.

Changes of the application

Only changes in the name or address of the applicant are allowed. It is possible to correct mistakes in the name or address of the applicant and obvious mistakes. These corrections must not affect the design.

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