Bulgaria : trademark registration on a national, international and EU level

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This article aims to present information about the different possibilities for trademark registration, according to its scope of action.

First, however, let’s say a few words about the brand in general – what it is and why it is good to protect it.

According to Art. 9, para. 1 of the Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications (LTGI), a trademark is a sign that is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of other persons and can be presented in a way that allows to clearly and accurately determine the subject of the protection afforded by registration.

bulgaria trademark registration

Such signs may be, for example: words, including names of persons, letters, numbers, drawings, figures, the shape of the goods or their packaging, colours, sounds or any combination of such signs. The law distinguishes three types of trademarks – commercial, collective and certificate, and in this article we will focus on the trademark in more detail.

In order to protect our trademark, we need to register it in one of the ways that we will discuss below in the exposition. Trademark registration is done for specific classes of goods/services, according to the International Classification of Goods and Services for Trademark Registration (Nice Classification).

bulgaria trademark registration

After the successful registration of the brand, according to Art. 13, para. 1 of the LTGI, its holder acquires the following rights, namely:

  1. to use it, which right includes the following possibilities:

➪ placing the sign on the goods or on their packaging;

➪ offering the goods with this sign for sale or putting them on the market, storing or keeping them for these purposes, as well as offering or providing services with this sign;

➪ the import or export of goods with this sign;

➪ the use of the mark as a trade or company name or as part of a trade or company name;

➪ the use of the sign in commercial documents and in advertisements;

➪ to dispose of it, which includes the following possibilities:

➪ to transfer the right to the brand to third parties;

➪ to allow its use by third parties;

➪ to prohibit third parties without his consent from using in their commercial activity any sign for goods and/or services that is:

➪ identical to the mark and used for goods or services identical to those for which the mark is registered;

➪ identical or similar to the mark and used for goods or services identical or similar to those for which the mark is registered, if there is a likelihood of confusion among consumers, which includes the possibility of associating the sign with the mark;

➪ identical or similar to the mark, regardless of whether it is used for goods or services that are identical, similar or not to those for which the mark is registered, if the mark is wellknown in the territory of the scope of protection, and the use without justification of the mark would take unfair advantage of or damage the distinctive character or reputation of the mark;

Having outlined the concept of a trademark, as well as the rights that we acquire after registering it, let’s look at the different options for registration, as well as the scope of protection for each of them. There are three options for registering a trademark, and the choice depends on the needs of your business.

  1. In case you want the protection of your trademark to extend to the territory of only one country (for example, the country where your company is currently headquartered or the country where you want to do business), you can submit a registration request to trademark directly to the relevant national intellectual property office. This is the decision at the national level.

For the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, the competent institution before which trademark registration is carried out is the Patent Office. For trademark registration at the Patent Office (for protection only on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria) for up to 3 classes of goods/services, the state fee is BGN 570 (BGN 520 for registration and BGN 50 for issuing a certificate). A state fee of BGN 30 is payable for each subsequent class of goods/services.

  1. If you want the protection of your trademark to extend throughout the territory of the European Union (EU), you can apply for an EU trademark through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This is the decision at the European level that protects your trademark throughout the European Union, including the future member states of the Union.

The basic fee for registering a trade mark with EUIPO for Class 1 goods/services is EUR 850 when applying online and EUR 1,000 when applying on paper. The fee for inclusion of a second class of goods/services is an additional 50 EUR. The fee for three or more classes is EUR 150 for each subsequent class.

  1. The third option for protecting your trademark is an international registration with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Through this registration, you have the opportunity to obtain protection of your trademark in any country of your choice under the “Madrid Protocol”.

It is important to note that a trademark can only be the subject of an application for international registration if it has already been applied for or registered at national or EU level respectively. Together with the application for registration at the national level or at the EU level, an international registration can be applied for at the same time, in which case an adiitional fee (respectively to the Patent Office or EUIPO) will be charged to the above registration fees for moving the application for international registration with WIPO.

The fee for registering an international trademark with WIPO depends on the number of classes of goods/services applied for, for which the trademark will enjoy protection, as well as the number of countries applied for, for which the protection will be effective.

Before proceeding with the registration of a trademark, we recommend that you consult with specialists in the field of intellectual property, as there are specifics that should be paid attention to in the specific case, including the need to check for already registered trademarks with the same or similar name for the same classes of goods/services.

The Lead Consult team can provide you with comprehensive assistance regarding the registration of your trademark.

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