REGISTRATION OF UTILITY MODELS IN BULGARIA
Procedure for registration of a Utility Model before the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria
The normative protection of a Utility Model is provided through its registration at the Bulgarian Patent Office. The Utility Model refers to the technical aspects of a particular invention that meets the basic requirements of novelty, industrial applicability and inventive step.
The legal protection provided by the registration of the Utility Model refers to inventions from all fields of the industry and technology. These are: machines; mechanisms; devices; electronic components; apparatuses. Excluded from protection are methods (processes), chemical compounds, as well as their use. The registration of a Utility Model is a cheap and significantly faster process. This is due to the fact that the Office does not perform expertise of the criteria for registerability (patentability), which are: novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. When it meets the requirements for formal regularity specified in the Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models, the filed Utility Model is directly registered. An approach is adopted, which provides opportunities the procedure for registration of a Utility Model at the Patent Office to take only a few months.
In case of an initially filed patent application for an invention, it is possible at a later stage, at the request of the applicant, to be transformed into an application for registration of a Utility Model in compliance with the mandatory conditions specified in the Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models. Besides that, there is the option for the applicants, who can file at the same time national applications for the Utility Model and for a patent for the same invention.
In such cases, when for one and the same object of Industrial Property a national patent for an invention is issued and at the same time a registration as a Utility Model is made, the law stipulates that the disposal of one of these rights is considered to be the disposal of the other too. There are similar provisions that allow applying for such transformations in some more specific cases of filed PCT or European patent applications. In cases where the patented object has other unique qualities (such as aesthetic shaping), which are subject to additional protection, it is possible to apply for a registration as an Industrial Design.
Rights conferred by the registration of a Utility Model in the Republic of Bulgaria
The registration of the Utility Model provides the holder with absolute rights, according to the Act on Patents and Registration of Utility Models. They are the same as those when issuing a patent for an invention, namely: to dispose of it on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as to prohibit third parties from using it without his permission. The ban on use includes all activities that are carried out in the sphere of production and trade turnover - production, storage, offering for sale, import or export, etc. with the object of the registered Utility Model.
Territorial effect and term of registration of the Utility Models
The registration of a Utility Model shall be valid for a maximum of 10 years from the priority date of filing the application with the Patent Office. This term can be met provided that the annual renewal fees have always been paid on time. If necessary and requested by the applicants, the validity of the registered Utility Model can be reduced to a shorter one. The registration of the Utility Models is performed only for the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
Persons entitled to file applications for registration of a Utility Model
At the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria, applications for the registration of Utility Models can be filed without restrictions by local, Bulgarian legal entities and individuals, as well as foreign legal entities and individuals originating from member states of international treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party. Such are the Paris Convention or the World Trade Organization. Foreign applicants who do not have a registered office or permanent address in the Republic of Bulgaria may act before the Bulgarian Patent Office only through an authorized patent attorney or Industrial Property Representative.
The Bulgarian applicants for Utility Models are also recommended to consult a qualified patent attorney or Industrial Property Representative when submitting the procedure documents to the Patent Office, although they are not obliged to do so. These specialists can best prepare the description of the invention and the patent claims, as well as lead the procedure for registration of the Utility Model before the Office in the most reliable and in accordance with the law way. When applying for registration of a Utility Model abroad, the Bulgarian applicants are obliged first to have applied for a patent for an invention or such for registration of a Utility Model at the Bulgarian Patent Office.
The procedure for registration of Utility Models is significantly simplified compared to those for granting patents. However, non-compliance with any of the basic regulatory requirements, as well as the set deadlines, carries risks of adverse consequences, such as rejection of the application or the loss of the Utility Model.
How can we assist you
As legally competent Bulgarian patent lawyers and Industrial Property Representatives, our team is composed of highly qualified specialists in various fields of the science and technology, with many years of professional experience and profiling. For these reasons, we could provide high and effective consulting on all aspects of the various procedures and professional representation in regard to the registration of Utility Models before the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.
For more than 30 years the Patent Bureau - Plovdiv, provides professional and expert assistance in the field of the Industrial Property and in particular in connection with patents for inventions and Utility Models. Striving to ensure our customers with the most appropriate and high-quality regulatory form for protection of their inventions. Through the registration of Utility Models that most fully meet the sought future priorities and goals, our ambition is the intended end result to be legally and technically effective as means of protection against unfair competition.
The symbiosis that we have achieved between the accumulated professional experience, high qualification as European patent attorneys and lawyers on one hand, and as well as meeting the high criteria for preparing accurate and reliable patent descriptions and patent claims, on the other hand is a guarantee for successful registration of Utility Models at the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria. This guarantees a reliable commercial realization of the Utility Model and provides advantage over other competitors on the market. Relying on close cooperation and communication with inventors, and having broad technical and legal knowledge, such as engineers and patent attorneys, we always achieve excellent results in the protection of the objects of Industrial Property for our clients.