INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN BULGARIA
First Renewal Term
Subsequent Renewal Term
The Marks and Geographical Indications Act (MGIA) of December 13, 2019 is the primary law governing the mechanism of trademark registration and protection in Bulgaria.
For getting a trademark registered in Bulgaria, an application has to be filed with the Bulgarian Patent Office, which administers the entire trademark registration process.
It follows a 'first-to-file' system, which means that registration is mandatory for protection.
Bulgaria follows the 11th edition of Nice Classification. Multi-class trademark applications are acceptable.
The opposition period is three (03) months from the date of publication of the trademark application in the Official Bulletin.
Registered trademarks are valid for ten (10) years from the filing date of the application for registration at the Patent Office of Bulgaria.
Registration may be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten (10) years each.
The grace period to renew a trademark after the date of expiry is six (06) months.
The term for cancellation of a registered trademark based on non-use is five (05) years from the date of registration.
Bulgaria is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
The Law on Patents and Utility Model Registration, 2007 - forms the legal basis for patent protection in Bulgaria. For seeking patent protection, an application has to be filed with the Bulgarian Patent Office.
In Bulgaria, an invention that satisfies the conditions of novelty, inventive step, and industrial application can be patented. Process patent and product patent are the two types of patents that can be protected.
The types of patent applications that can be filed include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.
In Bulgaria, an opposition against a patent application can be raised within two (02) months.
Patents in Bulgaria are valid for twenty (20) years from the filing date. Annual maintenance fees are due each year starting from the first one and should be paid within three (03) months from receipt of the Notice of Allowance alongside the fees for grant and publication. All subsequent annual fees should be paid in advance no later than the last day of the month when the anniversary of the filing date occurs. Payment cannot be made more than twelve (12) months before the anniversary of the filing date.
The Industrial Design Law, 2011 - is the primary legislation governing industrial design protection in Bulgaria.
For getting an industrial design registered in Bulgaria, an application has to be filed with the Bulgarian Patent Office, which administers the entire process of registration.
The types of industrial design applications that can be filed in Bulgaria include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.
Opposition against an industrial design application cannot be raised in Bulgaria. The industrial design application in Bulgaria undergoes formal examination only.
The validity term of an industrial design in Bulgaria is ten (10) years from the filing date. This term may be renewed three (03) times for five (05) years each.
Renewal fees are due on the anniversary of the filing date, and may be paid during the last year of the validity term. Late payment is possible within six (06) months after the due date alongside a corresponding surcharge.
Bulgaria is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
The Law on Copyright and Related Rights, 1993 - forms the legal basis for copyright protection in Bulgaria.
The copyright comes into existence from the moment of creation of the work - no copyright registration is needed.
The standard copyright protection term lasts for seventy (70) years after making the work available to the public.
The law also protects the associated rights of performers, producers of audio and visual works, and broadcasting organizations. Those rights are protected for fifty (50) years.
Copyright in a film or other audio-visual work shall expire seventy (70) years after the death of the last surviving among the director, the scriptwriter, the operator, the author of the dialogue, and the author of the music if it has been created specifically for the film.