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Sections in page

  1. Patents
  2. Utility models
  3. Industrial designs
  4. Trademarks
  5. Geographical indications

Section Patents

Patents for inventions in all technical fields are granted when they are new, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable. Microbiological methods and products obtained through such methods can be also protected by patents.

Patents are not granted for discoveries, scientific theories and concepts; mathematical methods; results of artistic work; schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business; computer programs; presentations of information.

Patents are not granted for inventions, the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality, including methods for cloning people and using human embryons, methods for therapeutic or surgical treatment of human beings or animals as well as diagnostic methods (this exemption does not apply to substances and compounds used for carrying out of these methods); substances obtained through inter nuclear transformation used for military purposes; plant varieties or animal breeds.

The validity term of a patent is 20 years from the filing date of the patent application or priority date. For pharmaceutical patents this protection term may be extended up to 25 years based on an issued Certificate for supplementary patent protection (SPC).

European patents are protected on the territory of Bulgaria if translated into Bulgarian language and duly validated in the Bulgarian Patent Office.


Section Utility models

Registration is granted to utility models which are new, involve an inventive step (the so called “small” inventive step) and are industrially applicable.

Exempt of legal protection and not regarded as utility models are discoveries, scientific theories and concepts; mathematical methods; results of artistic work; schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business; computer programs; presentations of information. The human body and embryons, their elements and genes cannot be protected as utility models.

Registration is not granted to utility models, the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality, including methods for cloning people and using human embryons, methods for therapeutic or surgical treatment of human beings or animals as well as diagnostic methods (this exemption does not apply to substances and compounds used for carrying out of these methods); substances obtained through inter nuclear transformation and used for military purposes; plant varieties or animal breeds.

The validity term of an utility model registration is 4 years from the filing date of the application or priority date. This protection term can be extended only twice – with 3 years each time.


Section Industrial designs

Industrial design is the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the specific features of the shape, lines, contours, ornamentation, colours, or combination thereof.
Product means any industrial or handicraft article, including parts intended to be assembled into a complex article, sets or compositions of articles, packaging, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, computer programs excluded.
The right in a design shall be acquired through registration with the Patent Office as of the filing date of an application for registration. The right in a design shall be an exclusive right.

The design may not be registered if it is a design that is contrary to public policy or the principles of morality, or if it is a design which specific features are solely determined by the technical function of the product, as well as if it is a design which specific features are solely determined by the necessity for the product, in which the design is incorporated, or to which it is applied, to be mechanically assembled or put in, around or opposite to another product, so that both products perform their functions, with the exception of a design intended to allow the multiple assembly or connection of interchangeable products within a modular system.

The validity term of an industrial design is 10 years following the filing date of the application. Registration may be renewed for three successive periods of 5 years each.

Registered Community Designs (RCD) have many advantages in view of there uniform protection in all member countries of EU.


Section Trademarks (Marks)

Mark is a sign able to distinguish the goods or services of one person or company from those of other persons or companies and can be represented graphically.
The right on a mark is acquired by registration. This right is exclusive and belongs to the first Applicant.

No registration is granted to marks that are not distinctive; marks that are contrary to public order and morality; marks having a descriptive or deceptive character. No registration is granted as well to a well-known mark.

Status of famous or well-known mark can be granted to a trade mark for goods or services in a special procedure before the Bulgarian Patent Office or declaratory court action.

The validity of trademark registration is 10 years from the filing date of the application or of the priority date.
The protection term can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of 10 years.

European Union Trademarks (EUTM) are valid on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria since 01.01.2007 and provide many advantages in terms of uniform protection in all member countries of EU. Conversion of EUTM into Bulgarian national application is possible if duly filed in Bulgarian language at the Bulgarian Patent Office.


Section Geographical indications

Geographical indications mean appellations of origin or indications of source.

  • An appellation of origin is the name of a country, or of a region or locality in that country, that serves to designate goods originating therein, whose quality or characteristics are due essentially or exclusively to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors.
  • An indication of source is the name of a country, or of a region or locality in that country, that serves to designate goods originating therein, whose quality, reputation or other characteristics can be attributed to that geographical origin.

A name shall not be registered as a geographical indication if it has become a generic name in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria or to denote goods of a certain kind without any association with the place of production thereof, or it is identical with the name of a plant variety or animal breed registered earlier, where users are likely to be misled as to the true origin of the goods.