The activity of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria in resolving disputes arising in connection with objects of industrial property includes:

  • hearings of appeals against decisions for refusal of registration or refusal to issue a protection document, appeals against decisions on oppositions and appeals against decisions for termination of the proceedings on an application for registration / issuance of a protection document
  • consideration of applications for declaration of invalidity of an issued protection  document, granting and termination of a compulsory license, deletion and cancellation of the registration

The procedure for consideration of disputes in connection with the objects of industrial property is regulated in the Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models (APRUM), Trademarks and Geographical Indications Act (TGI), Industrial Design Act (IDA), Act on Protection of New Plant Varieties and Animal Breeds (APNPVAB), as well as in the Ordinance on Dispute Resolution under APRUM and the Ordinance for Dispute Resolution under TGI.

Appeals and requests shall be considered by dispute panels appointed by the President of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Appeals shall be lodged within three or two months of the notification of the decision to refuse or terminate the proceedings, and requests may be lodged throughout the period of validity of the registration / protection document.

Appeals and requests may be filed with the Patent Office, through a postal operator, by fax or electronically (by e-mail or the Electronic Services Portal). Where the submission is made by fax or electronically without a qualified electronic signature, the appeal or request and the accompanying documents must be submitted signed with a handwritten or electronic signature.

For the appeals and requests a state fee is paid in the amount determined by the Tariff for the fees, which are collected by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Dispute proceedings shall be with the participation of interested parties, which in the case of appeals against decisions to terminate the proceedings on request or to refuse registration / issuance of a protection document include only the applicant, while in appealing the decisions on oppositions and on the requests these are the applicant, resp. the right holder, and the person submitting the opposition / request.

For each appeal and request, an admissibility and formal validity check is carried out. In case of established deficiencies, a notification for their elimination is sent. If the deficiencies are not eliminated, proceedings shall not be instituted or shall be terminated.

When the appeal against a decision for termination of the proceedings on request or for refusal is admissible and formally regular, a decision may be issued for confirmation of the appealed act, or for its annulment (in whole or in part).

In cases of admissible and formally regular appeals against decisions on oppositions and requests, a copy of them shall be sent to the interested party for reply, including for presentation of evidence. After the end of the exchange of correspondence and clarification of all facts and circumstances of the dispute, a decision is issued, which can confirm or revoke (in whole or in part) the decision on oppositions, resp. to delete or to revoke the registration in whole or in part or to declare the issued protection document invalid.

Concerning the legal consequences of a declaration of invalidity, deletion and revocation - the declaration of invalidity and deletion shall take effect from the date of submission of the application for the issuance of a security document / registration, while the revocation is effective from the date of the request.

Dispute decisions can be appealed to the Administrative Court - Sofia, and those of the Administrative Court - Sofia are subject to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

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