As Bulgaria is a very open market economy, with moderately advanced private sectors, World Bank classifies it as an “upper-middle-income economy”. As such, it is common for different entities, persons or legal entities, to register trademarks.
In order to register a trademark in Bulgaria, you can fill in either an application request in Bulgaria or a registration request on a centralized European level. Regardless of the chosen method, you will benefit from the same protection.
What you can register as a trademark
There are many items that can be registered as trademarks, such as words, signs or shapes, graphical representations, emblems, reliefs, denominations, letters, rhythmic or musical interpretations and many more. However, there are multiple restrictions, among which are marks that are devoid of all distinctive characters, signs that consist exclusively of the shape of goods dictated by their nature, marks that are contrary to public policy and so on.
In order to register a trademark in Bulgaria, one must apply for registration with the Bulgarian Patent Office. Once the application is examined and accepted, the patent office issues a certificate of registration.
During the examination process, it is taken into consideration that the trademark is distinctive for certain goods or services and that it is not deceptive. After the trademark certificate of registration has been issued, the trademark receives the approval of publication in the Official Bulletin of the Patent and Trademark Office.
Opposition to the trademark
Within two months of the registration, any person who considers that the trademark might bring any kind of damage can file an opposition. As such, most owners of valuable trademarks are subscribed to the official Bulletin that contains a list of all trademarks published for opposition.
Normally, even in situations in which an opposition is filled in, the applicant and the opponent can come to a settlement in regards to using the trademark. If the opposition is not settled amiably, then both parties must submit evidence to support their views.
Registration for ten years
In Bulgaria, a trademark is registered for a period of 10 years starting with the date of the application, but can be extended as needed for periods of 10 years. In order to extend the trademark, it is necessary to apply with a petition of renewal during the last remaining years of protection and no documents are needed to accompany the request.
The use of a trademark in Bulgaria defines as a real use, meaning putting trademarked goods on the Bulgarian market, as well as nominal use, explained as offering the mark for use through the press. If the trademark is not been used or was not placed in use through the press for a period of five years, then the registration will be canceled.
If a trademark good is carried through the border of Bulgaria without the holder’s consent, then the trademark shall be detained by the customs officials if the holder requests so.
If you are in need of more information on how to register a trademark in this country or if you are facing opposition, contact our attorneys in Bulgaria to obtain the necessary information.
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