As the oldest operating patent office in Southern Bulgaria, PATENT BUREAU – PLOVDIV has been working for more than three decades in the field of patent law and protection of Industrial Property, which includes: individual consulting, preparation of patent applications for inventions under national and international procedures. We have licensed national and European Industrial Property Representatives, who are entered in the Register of the Professional Representatives of the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and the European Patent Office. Over the past years we have proven our invaluable academic contribution in the field of the patent law, as university professors and lecturers in various forms and content of educational qualification courses, seminars, including dozens of publications on current aspects of the patent law at home and abroad.
Legal protection of a patentable invention is granted by a patent.
Patents are granted for inventions that are new, involve an inventive step and are industrial applicable. Patents are issued for utility models that are new, have industrial applicability and bear the characteristics of the device category.
The invention is new if it is not part of the state of the art.
The invention has an inventive step when it does not follow in an obvious way from the state of the art according to art. 8, para. 2 of the Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models for the specialist in the field as of the date of the submission, respectively the priority date.
Industrial applicable are inventions whose subject matter may be produced or repeatedly used in any branch of the industry and agriculture.
The following are not considered inventions:
- discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
- results of artistic creativity;
- plans, rules and methods for intellectual activity, for games or for business activity and computer programs;
- presentation of information
The person who has created an invention or utility model is its inventor. When the invention or the utility model has been created by several persons, they are co-inventors.
The right to file an application belongs to the inventor or his successor. Where the right of applying belongs to several persons, it shall be exercised jointly by them.
Patents are not granted for inventions and utility models, the publication or use of which would violate public order and morals; substances obtained by intra-nuclear transformations intended for military purposes; plant varieties and animal breeds that are subject to the Protection of New Plant Varieties and Animal Breeds Act. This rule is not valid for the microbiological methods and the products obtained through them. The term of validity of the patent for invention is 20 years from the date of filing, and of the patent for utility model - 10 years from the date of filing.
The patent shall be terminated in the event of:
- expiration of the term for which it was granted;
- renunciation by the proprietor of the patent, as from the date of receipt of the proprietor's written notice by the Patent Office. The renunciation of the patent by one of its co-proprietors shall not terminate the patent which shall remain the property of the remaining proprietors;
- failure to pay the fees for maintaining the patent in force;
- A patent that has ceased to be in force due to nonpayment the annual patent fee may be re-established within 6 months of the expiration of the term under Art. 33, para 3 upon payment of a fee for renewal of the patent, as well as double the amount of the due fee.
The scope of legal protection is determined by the claims, as the claims cover not only the features, as expressed, but also their equivalents, meeting the requirements set by the law. The patent applications are subject to publication in the Official Bulletin of the Patent Office immediately after the expiration of 18 months from the date of filing, respectively from the priority date, as during the period from the publication of the application to the issuance of the patent a temporary protection is granted. The issued patent provides with retroactive effect this protection insofar as it does not extend it. The accumulated patent fees for maintaining a granted patent are due within 3 months from the date of receipt of the patent document. The annual patent fee shall be paid no later than the last day of the month in which each patent year expires, the beginning of which is the filing date.
National application for patent
According to the current Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models , the right to apply for a patent for an invention belongs to the inventor or his successor under certain conditions. All persons (natural and legal persons) who are inventors and have a permanent seat in the country have the opportunity to apply for patenting inventions at the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria. This can be done either in person or through an authorized licensed patent attorney. The law obliges those inventors who do not have a permanent address or registered office on the territory of the country, to submit to the Patent Office their patent applications only through a local Industrial Property Representative who is entered in the Register.
It is important to note that the priority date for filing a patent application is considered to be only the date on which a patent application was received by the Patent Office, containing the required amount of mandatory information including: title of the invention; the name and address of the applicant; the name and address of the inventor (if they differ), as well as a technically formed description of the patent claims, disclosing the essence of the invention, the drawings and the abstract. In cases where the applicant is different from the actual inventor, a declaration of the actual inventors must be attached to the patent application for an invention. When a patent attorney is authorized for a patent application for an invention, it is necessary to be indicated his name, registration number, address and telephone number for contact, enclosing certified Power of Attorney according to a sample.
In case of claimed convention priority, obligatorily when submitting the application, the data of the earlier application are entered - entry number, date of submission and country. To the application as an evidence, an original certificate of priority shall be submitted by the relevant foreign office in no later than 12 months.
In case of expressed desire for license readiness, the applicant of the patented invention shall enclose the respective declaration according to a sample.
To the filed patent application for an invention, it is necessary to be attached a document certifying the payment of the required state fees, which are formed on the basis of the documents submitted by the applicants - entry, formal expertise, number of patent claims, declared convention priority, etc. The working language of the Patent Office is only Bulgarian. Provided that part of the presented in the application documents (description, patent claims, drawings, abstract) are in a foreign language, their translations into Bulgarian should be obligatory submitted within 3 months period. This is done in order to preserve the priority filing date of the patent application. The Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models stipulates that each patent application filed for an invention at the Patent Office, within 1 month term from the date of entry, is subject to verification for the presence of classified information
The regulated term in which the applicant has the opportunity to file a request for search and expertise of the filed invention is 13 months from the priority date of filing the application for patentAt the same time, the applicant is obliged to pay fees for: publication of the application, research and expertise of the object for patenting. The application for patent for an invention is published on the 18th month of entry, after which a stage of material expertise is carried out, in which it is checked whether it meets the three main criteria for patentability - the presence of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Provided that the applicant has changed his intentions within 13 months, he may, instead of the request for search and examination of the patent, file another request for the transformation of the application for patent for an invention into an application for registration of a Utility Model. It is important to note that such a request for transformation of the application may be filed no later than the expiration of the 15th month from the priority date of filing the patent application. In cases where such a request for transformation has not been filed and the fee for publication, research and examination has not been paid, the application shall be deemed withdrawn and the patenting procedure shall be terminated.
PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV provides professional patent legal protection and procedural representation before all courts and state bodies on the territory of the country and in the EU. Our highly qualified team is at your disposal for solving any problems related to your inventions for patenting, as well as for all other objects of Industrial Property. For any difficulties encountered in the proceedings before the Patent Office, do not hesitate to contact us.