MARKS AND GEOGRAPHIC INDICATIONS
| Marks® |
The mark is a sign that is able to distinguish the goods or services of one person from those of others and can be represented graphically. Such signs may be words, including names of persons, letters, numbers, drawings, figures, the shape of the goods or their packaging, a combination of colors, sound signs or any combination of such signs. Types of marks: verbal; graphic (figurative); combined; three-dimensional (volume); sound; smell/olfactory; collective and certification. The right over the trademark is acquired through registration from the date of application.
It is an exclusive right and belongs to the first applicant. A mark is not registered if: is not distinctive; a mark consisting of signs or indications which have become customary in the country; a mark consisting of signs indicating different characteristics or the geographical origin of the goods and services; a mark that contradicts to public order and morals; a mark which is likely to mislead the consumer as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods and services; mark, which consists of or includes the coat of arms, the flag, symbols, orders, medals of the Republic of Bulgaria and symbols and names of countries or international intergovernmental organizations, official signs and marks of control and guarantee; the name or the symbols of Bulgarian historical or cultural monuments without the consent of the respective competent authority; a mark consisting of or containing religious symbols or their equivalents known in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Disposition of trademark rights
The right over the mark may be transferred regardless of the transfer of the enterprise for all or part of the goods or services for which it is registered. In case of a joint ownership, the right to a trademark is transferred with the written consent of all co-owners, unless otherwise agreed between them. The transfer shall be entered in the State Register at the request of one of the parties, to which a transfer document shall be attached. A certificate is issued to the new holder.
The holder of the right over the mark may authorize its use for all, or part of the goods or services, for which it is registered, for a part or for the entire territory of the Republic of Bulgaria with a written license contract.
A mark is not registered that is identical with an earlier mark for identical goods or services; a mark which is similar to an earlier mark without the consent of the owner of the earlier mark; a mark consisting of a registered geographical indication or its derivatives; a mark identical or similar to an earlier mark, when the earlier mark is with a reputation in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The registration of the mark may be revoked if within five years the proprietor has not started the actual use of the mark in the Republic of Bulgaria or the use has been suspended for a continuous period of five years and there was no well-grounded reason for not using it. The term of the registration is ten years as from the filing date, this period may be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten years.
The validity of the registration of a mark is terminated with: expiration of the ten-year term (non-renewal); with the renunciation by the holder over it; termination of the legal entity-holder without legal succession. Trademark registration is revoked on demand of an interested party where: the mark has not been used for five years; the mark has become a common designation for the good or service for which it is registered; the use of the mark is in a such way that misleads consumers. The registration can be partially canceled, ie. where the request for cancellation concerns only part of the goods or services.
The registration of the trademark is deleted at the request of third parties or ex officio by the Patent Office, if it has been registered illegally.
Geographical indication means an appellation of origin and a geographical indication. An appellation of origin is the name of a country, region or specific locality in that country, used to designate the good originating therefrom and whose quality or properties are due mainly or exclusively attributable to the geographical environment, comprising natural and human factors.
A geographical indication is the name of a country, a region or a specific locality in that country, serving to designate a commodity, originating therefrom and possessing a quality, a reputation or any other characteristic, that may be attributed to that geographical origin. A geographic indication is not registered, which: has become on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria a generic name of goods of a certain type without connecting the place of their production; is identical to the name of previously protected plant variety or animal breed; is identical or similar to geographic indication or mark, previously registered for identical or similar goods. The right of filing has any person, who carries out his productive activity at the designated geographic location, and the product, which he manufactures satisfies the established qualities or peculiarities. The legal protection is terminated when the connection between the quality of the goods and the geographic environment ceases to exist. The registration is deleted at the request of any person with interest if the indication has been registered illegally and when has been erased in the country of origin.
Any person entitled to apply may file a request to be registered as a user of a registered geographical indication.
Any natural or legal person of the Republic of Bulgaria or with residence or actual commercial activity in the country, who is the holder of a mark registered under this law may submit an application for international registration under the Madrid Agreement.
An registered user of a registered appellation of origin may apply for an international registration under the Lisbon Treaty.
The law also stipulates the relevant measures for border control and administrative penalties in case of infringement of the right over a registered mark or violation of a registered geographical indication.