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COUNTRY : REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
CAPITAL : SOFIA
LANGUAGE : BULGARIAN
The Intellectual Property Rights Office of Bulgaria is known as the Bulgarian Patent Office-BPO.
Protection of Inventions in Bulgaria:
- THROUGH NATIONAL REGISTRATION. Direct Filing with the National Patent & Trademark office
- THROUGH EUROPEAN PATENT CONVENTION.
Kindly refer our guide on the European Patent Convention procedures.
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES TO WHICH BULGARIA IS SIGNATORY
- Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property
- Patent Co-operation Treaty – PCT.
- Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights –TRIPS.
- European Patent Convention.
PATENT LEGISLATION IN BULGARIA:
The Bulgarian legal system follows the Civil Law model.
Patents in Bulgaria are Protected by ‘The Law On Patents & Utility Models Registration – amended 2006’.
Patents are granted by The Bulgarian Patent Office – BPO
BASICS REGARDING PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS IN BULGARIA:
Inventions may relate to products, processes or industrial applications. Patents are therefore granted to inventions that:
- Are New or Novel
- Involve an inventive step
- Comprise of a process or an Industrial application of the invention.
For an Invention to be patentable, it should contain the following:
(i).Novelty: An invention is considered new or novel if it is not included in the state of the art. State of the art consists of all the information available and accessible to the public prior to the date of filing for the patent application nationally or internationally by means of its description, use or any other method by which it may be known or utilised by experts in the field.
(ii). Inventive Step: is, given the prevailing state of the art, it is not obvious to an expert in that field. An invention is considered ‘obvious’ when it is within the grasp of a skilled person in that field of expertise & therefore to be expected from him.
(iii). Industrial Application: of the invention would be ‘when the object of the invention may be produced, manufactured or used in any kind of industry including agricultur
INVENTIONS NOT PATENTABLE IN BULGARIA:
Inventions pertaining to the following:
- Discoveries, Scientific Theories & Mathematical methods. • Aesthetic creations.
- Substances already existing in nature and nuclear materials. • Charts
- Schemes, Rules, Methods for performing mental acts, playing games, doing business as well as Presentation of Information.
- Programmes for Computers.
- Inventions contrary to public order & morals.
- Methods of treatment by surgery or therapy on humans and animals.
- Methods of cloning human beings, altering genetic identity of the human embryo, use of human embryos for industrial, commercial purposes.
- Methods modifying genetic identity of animals causing them undue suffering without any substantial use from medical point of view either for humans, animals, as well as animals optioned from such methods.
- Plants or animals, essentially biological processes for obtaining plants and animals.
- Prejudicial to the Interests or Security of the Nation.
PartityPatents Law Firms through its associates in Bulgaria is at hand to help you with patent registration and prosecution.
FILING REQUIREMENTS OF PATENTS IN BULGARIA:
(i). A formal request for the grant of a patent of invention .
(ii). The name and address or head office of the applicant or his representative .
(iii). Short adequate Title of the Invention to be patented.
(iv). Summary of the invention and Priority data if any.
(v). Description of the invention along with drawings if any.
(vi). Claims along with Abstract
(vii). Drawings necessary to understand the invention.
(viii). Application & Documents in Bulgarian.
EXAMINATION OF THE PATENT APPLICATION IN BULGARIA:
- Once the application is filed, the application is scrutinised for defence & security aspects if any found, application sent to the concerned authorities for screening and determination on the application.
- Application is then examined for formality requirements. If any deficiencies found, applicant to rectify the same within stipulated time line else, application is terminated.
- Post formalities examination, a preliminary examination is conducted to ascertain deficiencies if any in the application and applicant to comply with rectifications within timelines else, application deemed abandoned.
- Within 13 months from the priority date, applicant to file search and substantive examination request along with fees or applicant may convert the patent application into a utility model registration application within 15 months from the priority date. If no requests forthcoming, application is deemed abandoned.
- Application is then published for 3rd party objections. If no objections to the registrability of the application, it is registered and patent granted.
- Application is also examined for the following:
– The invention’s patentability.
– The patent application’s unitary features.
– Correctness of the Priority claimed.
– The invention’s compliance with the patentability conditions.
– Scientific & Technical aspects.
Post Patent grant by the European Patent Office (EPO), Patent needs to be validated in the member country as designated on the Patent application.
Patent Validation comprises of certain formalities and requirements per national laws of the designated country.
Parity Patent Attorneys and Associate Law Firms in Bulgaria are at hand to help and assist you with Patent Validation.
RIGHTS OF THE PATENTEE IN BULGARIA:
TERM AND KINDS OF PATENTS GRANTED IN BULGARIA:
- Patents with a term of 20 yrs.
- Utility Models with a term of 10 yrs.
- Patents confer on holders and successors exclusive rights to work the invention.
- Patentee may authorise such uses of the patent through a contractual agreement with interested parties so as to import, rent out, deliver or sell the product patent .
- Patentee may authorise the working of the patent either by a manufacturer or by an importer.
- Patentee may even assign, lease or licence the patent.
- Patentee is entitled to take legal action against infringers.
COMPULSORY LICENCES OF PATENTS IN BULGARIA:
- Any person concerned may request the Patent Office for grant of a compulsory license to work a patented invention provided that at least one of the following conditions is met:
- failure to use the invention for a period of four years from filing of the application for a patent or of three years from the grant of a patent, the time limit which expires last being applicable;
- insufficient working of the invention to satisfy the needs of the national market, within the time limits set out in item 1, above, unless the patent owner gives valid reasons therefor;
- a declared national state of emergency-for its duration. • The person requesting a license under the preceding paragraph shall be required to prove that he is in a position to work the invention within the limits of the compulsory license requested.
- A compulsory license may be granted to a patent owner whose invention is included in the scope of another patent, if the owner of that patent refuses to grant a license under fair conditions.
- A compulsory license may only be non-exclusive. It may only be assigned together with the enterprise in which the licensed invention is being worked.
- A compulsory license may be terminated if within one year of its grant the licensee has made no preparation for working the invention.
- A compulsory license shall be terminated in all cases if the licensee fails to start working the invention within two years of grant. In the instance of dependent patents, wherein patentee concerning an improvement of an invention already patented on behalf of another person may not work that invention without the consent of the patentee of the earlier patent.
- A compulsory license shall not be granted to an infringer of the patent.
- Bilateral and multilateral treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party may lay down further conditions for the grant of a compulsory license to patent owners from States party to such treaties.
- A compulsory license for a secret patent shall be granted by the Council of Ministers at the request of the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
ParityPatents along with specialised Patent Lawyers and Patent Attorneys in Bulgaria, can assist you comprehensively with Compulsory Licence matters.