PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV is a profiled law firm that has been successfully developing its activities in the field of the trademarks and patent law for more than 30 years. As a strong intangible asset of the modern company, the creation and maintenance of a new company brand is connected with many procedures, such as: preparation of various types of commercial documents, qualified consultations, contracts, licenses, competent procedural judicial and extrajudicial representation in all proceedings before the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria, the European Trademark and Design Office (EUIPO) and the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV provides qualified and reliable procedural protection in civil and administrative cases related to trademarks and all other objects of Industrial Property.
Lawyer, diploma engineer Yonko Penchev is a licensed Representative of Industrial Property, reg. 297 with many years of experience as a patent specialist, expert and legal counsel before all national, European and international services and offices, on issues concerning infringements and protection of brands and trademarks, as well as for all other objects of the Intellectual Property.
A definition of a trademark is given in Article 9 of the Trademark and Geographical Indications Act, according to which the trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others on the market and can be presented graphically, which allows clearly and accurately to determine the subject of the protection granted by the registration. The legislator has indicated that such signs may be: words, names of persons, letters, numbers, drawings, figures, the shape of the goods or their packaging, colors, sounds or various combinations of such signs.
There are several different types of marks in the trade turnover. The most basic of them are: word, figurative, combined, sound, three-dimensional (volumetric), holographic and others. The right over a trademark is acquired through its registration with the relevant national, European (EUIPO) or international office (WIPO). This right is recognized as of the priority date of the filing of the application.
The national trademarks are registered by the Bulgarian Patent Office.
The European trademarks (EUTM - CTM) are registered by the European Union Intellectual Property Office - EUIPO.
International trademarks under the Madrid System are registered by the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO.
The right over the trademark is acquired through registration, as of the date of application. This is an exclusive right and it belongs to the first applicant.
A trademark is not registered which: has no distinctive features; a mark consisting of signs or indications which have become customary for the country; a mark consisting of signs indicating different characteristics or the geographical origin of the goods and services; a mark that is contrary to the public policy and good morals; a mark, which may mislead the consumer as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods and services; a mark consisting of or including the coat of arms, the flag, symbols, decorations, medals of the Republic of Bulgaria and symbols and names of countries or international intergovernmental organizations, official signs and stamps for control and guarantee; the name or the image of Bulgarian historical or cultural monuments without the consent of the respective competent authority; a mark, which consists of or contains religious symbols or their equivalents, known in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The right over a mark may be transferred, regardless of the transfer of the trade enterprise for all, or part of the goods or services for which it is registered. In case of joint ownership, the right over 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 of Trademarks on demand of one of the parties, to which a document for transfer 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.
Shall not be registered a mark which 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 which consists of a registered geographical indication or its derivatives; a mark identical or similar to an earlier mark, that is well recognized on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The registration may be revoked if, within five years from the date of the registration, the holder has not actually started using the mark on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria or the use has been suspended for a continuous period of five years and there was no valid reason for its non-use.
The validity term of the mark is ten years from the date of filing, and the registration may be renewed indefinitely for subsequent periods of 10 years.
The effect of the registration of the mark is terminated by:
expiration of the ten-year term (non-renewal);
renunciation by the holder;
termination of the legal person-holder without legal succession.
The registration of the mark shall be revoked upon the request of any person where:
• the mark has not been used for 5 (five) consecutive years;
• the mark has become a common designation for the good or service for which it is registered (loss of distinctiveness);
• the use of the mark is in such way, as to mislead the consumers.
The procedure for national registration of a trademark at the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria consists of several stages: filing an application; formal expertise; check for the existence of the absolute grounds for refusal under Art. 11 of the Trademark and Geographic Indication Act; publication; possible oppositions (based on the relative grounds for refusal under Art. 12 of the Trademark and Geographic Indication Act) or objections by third interested parties against the trademark registration; decision for registration and issuance of a registration certificate. After the publication of the mark application in the Official Bulletin of the Patent Office, begins to run 3 months opposition period. Each national, European or international trademark registration is for a fixed period of 10 years. This term can be renewed without time restrictions (unlike other IP objects) for new periods of 10 years, which occurs after the timely payment of due state fees.
According to Art. 13 of the Trademark and Geographic Indications Act, the content of the exclusive right over the mark includes the right of its holder to use it, to dispose of it and to prohibit third parties without his consent to use in the trade activity any sign for goods and /or services, which is identical to the mark and is used for goods or services identical to those for which the mark is registered; identical or similar to the mark and is used for goods or services identical or similar to those for which the mark is registered.
What right strategy to choose in order to register and use your trademarks successfully
This live question can be answered by the team of PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV, which provides qualified and reliable professional consulting on all arising and future issues regarding various aspects of your marketing policy, including the use of the most important objects of Intellectual properties, such as trademarks. Each national, European or international trademark registrationmust comply with the regulatory specifics and requirements respectively of the Bulgarian, European and international law. Our experts have great experience in cases related to the protection of the rights of the trademark holders before the Patent Office, the Commission for Protection of Competition, investigation, the prosecutor's office and civil and administrative courts in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
Procedural representation and protection in disputes related to the registration and disposal of rights over existing trademarks
PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV provides legal protection regarding rights related to your registered trademarks in various administrative and criminal proceedings under the Trademark and Geographical Indications Act, the Law on Protection of Competition, the Criminal Code and the relevant European regulations, which include: actions for deletion or revocation, oppositions, objections, use of imitations, transfer, proof of use, special types of protection. If you need specialized patent legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact the office of the PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV. We are at your disposal for assistance.