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Bulgaria (BG)

Oct 20, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 15/22)
IP Decision-Drafting Tool Implemented
The Bulgarian Patent Office implemented the “Decision Desktop” software on 21 September 2022, becoming the first IP Office to fully implement the new tool integrated into their internal Back Office system.

Decision Desktop aims at facilitating the decision-making process for examiners in order to improve consistency and predictability of decisions made by IP Offices in Europe. It does this by providing IP offices with an interface to create and maintain standard wording and letter templates to assist examiners through increased content automation.

EUIPO invites other IP Offices to participate in this initiative.

For more information, please check here


Nov 18, 2021 (Newsletter Issue 16/21)
New Electronic Payment Features
The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has introduced new electronic payment features as of September 10, 2021, allowing online payments not only for the electronic filing of IP objects, but also for the electronic filing of requests to take follow-up action.

With each application submitted electronically, the applicant receives a notification of the liabilities automatically calculated on the basis of the tariff and the applicant can make an online payment which is immediately taken into account in the authority's systems.


Feb 11, 2021 (Newsletter Issue 3/21)
First Bulgarian Authenticities Certified in European Cooperation Project
On November 18, 2020 and December 22, 2020, the municipalities of Sofia and Plovdiv became the first certified Bulgarian ‘Authenticities’ under the framework of the European Cooperation Project (ECP8) ‘European Network of Authenticities’.

Following a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and both municipalities, and in cooperation with different stakeholders, a series of IP-related awareness-raising activities will take place locally over the next two years in the newly certified Authenticities.

This European Cooperation Project aims to raise awareness, among local policymakers, businesses and the European public, of both the value of IP and the damaging effects of counterfeiting in European cities.


Jan 28, 2021 (Newsletter Issue 2/21)
Fast Track for Trademarks
On December 15, 2020, the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO), with the support of the EUIPO’s European Cooperation Service, has improved the service it provides to its users with the launch of a new release of the front office system supporting trademark and design applications and related e-services.

The front office platform, available via the BPO website, now allows users to take advantage of a set of new features, such as:
- fast-track applications for trademarks and designs;
- improved user interface for goods and services;
- improved functionality for filling out the application form using pre-registered data;
- possibility to easily check the details of registered trademarks and designs in TMview and DesignView.


Oct 08, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 16/20)
IP Office Provides Madrid e-Filing Now
Since September 21, 2020, the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has given access to Madrid e-Filing service to trademark applicants via its website. Brand owners will have the possibility to file international applications online.

Users also have direct access to Madrid Goods & Services Manager to check the classification of terms in their list of goods and services.


Oct 08, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 16/20)
Historical Trademark Files Digitized
The historical files have been digitised in the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO) which included more than 3,3 million pages, amounting to 77,000 separate trademark dossiers.

The Project aims at digitising paper files across the national and regional intellectual property offices of the EU to enable easy and rapid access to documentation and data related to trade mark and design dossiers.


Feb 20, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 2/20)
Withdrawal of Notification on Division of Intl. Registrations
On 17 January 2020, WIPO received a communication from the Office of Bulgaria withdrawing the notification made by Bulgaria under Rule 27bis(6) of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol (“Common Regulations”), with immediate effect.

Consequently, as from the above-mentioned date, the Office of Bulgaria can present to the International Bureau of WIPO requests for the division of an international registration under Rule 27bis(1) of the Common Regulations.

For more information, please click here


Feb 06, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 1/20)
New Law on Marks and Geographical Indications
On December 17, 2019, the new Law on Marks and Geographical Indications entered into force in Bulgaria. The new law contains revisions whose aim is to mainly transfer the provisions of EU Trade Mark Directive 2015/2436 of 16 December 2015 into Bulgarian law. The new law brings significant changes to certain aspects of trademark substantive and procedural law, including a new set of absolute and relative grounds for refusal and cancellation.

Some of the important changes are the following:
- Requirement of graphical representation of trademarks abandoned (This change introduces new types of trademarks that had not existed in Bularia before)
- Procedural deadlines before the Bulgarian PTO shortened
- Start of grace period for international trademark registration clarified
- Bad faith as ground for opposition introduced only in court proceedings
- New absolute grounds for refusal introduced. Signs cannot be registered if they infringe on national, EU legislation or international agreements involving the EU or Bulgaria (e.g. geographical indications, traditional terms for wine, traditional guaranteed specialities or plant varieties)
- Possibility to cancel registrations on the grounds of earlier rights based on a plant variety or animal breed Denomination
- Single-phase payment model introduced

For further information, please refer to the article by Mr Batakliev, PETOŠEVIĆ Bulgaria, here


Nov 19, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 16/19)
E-Filing Improved
The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO) improved its e-filing system.

Design e-filing is now integrated with the Harmonised Database of Product Indications (DesignClass). The BPO is the second EU national and regional IP office to implement DesignClass in its e-filing system.

Further enhancements include a new interface for selecting goods and services in trademark e-filing, as well as other usability improvements.


Apr 24, 2019
IP Office Will Not Accept Division or Merger Requests of Intl. Registration
Bulgaria has notified WIPO in accordance with new Rules 27bis(6) and 27ter(2)(b) of the Common Regulations, which entered into force on February 1, 2019.

Accordingly, new Rules 27bis(1) and 27ter(2)(a) of the Common Regulations do not apply. As a result, the IP Office will not present WIPO requests for the division of an international registration under new Rule 27bis(1) nor requests for the merger of international registrations resulting from division under new Rule 27ter(2)(a).

For further information, please refer to here


Dec 05, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 21/17)
Civil Procedure Code Amended
Major amendments to the Bulgarian Civil Procedure Code entered into force in November 2017, including changes to the order for payment procedure, the procedure for notifying individuals of court actions, court fees and civil enforcement regulations. There are also two main changes directly related to IP.

First, it is now explicitly specified that enforcement officials can seize or sell judgement debtors' industrial property rights in order to enforce the rights of judgement creditors. While enforcement officials could previously sell debtors' properties, such as real estate and vehicles, or freeze their bank accounts, the Civil Procedure Code now also explicitly provides for the sale and seizure of debtors' rights over trademarks, patents, utility models, industrial designs, topologies of integrated circuits, plant varieties and animal species as a way to ensure that a creditor receives what they are entitled to. Copyright and related rights are not included in the scope of the provision. This enforcement procedure can be carried out by both state and private enforcement agents and must be entered in the Bulgarian PTO's register.

Second, the traditionally narrow scope of cassation grounds has now been widened. Previously, subject to cassation at the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation were appellate court decisions that were:
- Contradicting the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation case law;
- Addressing an issue previously resolved by a civil court in a contradictory manner; and
- Addressing an issue which is important with respect to the accurate application of legal norms or to the development of the law itself.

From now on, appellate court decisions contradicting the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and of the Bulgarian Constitutional Court are also subject to cassation.


Sep 20, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 16/17)
New Ordinance on IP Representatives Adopted
On August 4, 2017, the Bulgarian Council of Ministers adopted a new Ordinance on Industrial Property Representatives, regulating the requirements for representatives in the field of industrial property.

The Ordinance entered into force on September 8, 2017 and introduces the possibility for industrial property representatives to exercise their profession in partnerships. All individuals wishing to become representatives will be required to pass a qualifying exam. A register of approved representatives will be made available on the Bulgarian Patent Office’s website.

The new Ordinance aligns Bulgarian legislation concerning IP representatives with Directive 2006/123/EC and Directive 2005/36/EC.


Jun 14, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 11/17)
Draft Ordinance on IP Representatives Published
The Bulgarian Patent Office has released for public consultation a draft Ordinance on Industrial Property Representatives to be adopted by the Council of Ministers.

If adopted, the draft Ordinance would regulate the profession of IP representatives. It specifies the requirements for obtaining the necessary qualifications and for providing such services. Most notably, the Ordinance would make it possible for foreign IP representatives to exercise the profession in Bulgaria in compliance with the requirements of EU Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market, and would also introduce mandatory professional insurance. The Ordinance would also recognize partnerships of IP representatives for the first time in Bulgarian legislation.

The draft Ordinance got criticized by AIPPI Bulgaria as it goes beyond the scope of what the Law on Patents and Industrial Designs has defined. Further, the Ordinance contradicts with the Law on Recognition of Professional Qualifications. AIPPI Bulgaria insists on the withdrawal of the draft and the resumption of an open discussion among stakeholders.


Nov 18, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 16/13)
E-Filing Soon
The Bulgarian PTO introduced an online tool for electronic filing of trademark applications on November 15, 2013. The users are able to submit applications through Bulgarian PTO’s website.

The tool was developed as a result of cooperation between the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the Bulgarian PTO.
Online tools for electronic renewal, electronic filing of oppositions and requests for revocation and invalidity are expected to follow soon.

Source: Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and PETOŠEVIĆ

Apr 02, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 4/13)
PTO to Abolish ‘Class Heading Covers All’ Approach
As of March 1, 2013, the Bulgarian PTO has changed its approach when interpreting the scope of protection when class headings are used in lists of goods and services in trademark applications and registrations.

National trademarks are not registered under the “class heading covers all” approach but under the “means what it says” approach, meaning that the national trademark applicants listing class headings has to clearly indicate whether they are seeking protection for all goods or services that fall within a particular class or only for the specific goods or services mentioned in the class heading.

The change follows the Court of Justice of the European Union’s June 19, 2012 decision in the IP Translator ‘class headings’ case (C-307/10 – Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys v Registrar of Trade Marks), after which all national PTOs in the EU and OHIM agreed to unify the approach.

Currently 17 out of 26 PTOs in the EU use the “means what it says” approach, while the other nine PTOs, including the Bulgarian PTO, use the “class heading covers all” approach where the class heading provides protection for all goods or services included in the alphabetical list of the class.

The differences in the interpretive approaches have led to legal uncertainty and lack of predictability in cases of claiming priority and seniority and in revocation, cancellation, examination and opposition proceedings.

The Bulgarian PTO has introduced the following basic rules:
- If the applicant wishes the scope of trademark protection to cover all goods and services included in the alphabetical list of the particular class, the applicant must explicitly state on the application that “The application refers to all goods/services included in the alphabetical list of this class".
- If the applicant does not explicitly state that the scope of protection covers all goods and services in the alphabetical list of the particular class, the PTO will conclude that the applicant is seeking protection only for the goods or services mentioned in the class heading.
The change in the practice of the Bulgarian PTO does not affect trademark applications and registrations filed or processed prior to March 1, 2013.


Sep 01, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 10/11)
Opposition System Introduced/Official Fees Reduced
The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has implemented the regulation on opposition procedure, which entered into force on June 11th, 2011. The new regulation outlines the procedure for drafting, submitting and examining the opposition notices. It applies to trademark applications filed or published after March 10th, 2011.

As the Patent Office does not carry out examinations as to the relative grounds for refusal of trademarks anymore, the official fees for filing and examination of applications for registration of trademarks are reduced. Please view current fees in the country survey (below).

Source: Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria,
Borislav Boyanov & Co., Bulgaria

Feb 21, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 3/11)
Amendments of Trademark Law
Some important amendments to the Bulgarian Law on Marks and Geographical Indications (LMGI) enter into force by March 10th, 2011.

The Bulgaria Patent Office (BPO) performs only formality and absolute grounds examination by March 10th, 2011. Under the new system the search for prior trademarks will be dropped.

Furthermore, the opposition period will change from 2 to 3 months, effective from March 10th, 2011.

For more information please click here

Source: Zivko Mijatovic & Partners, Sofia, Bulgaria

Jan 01, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 1/11)
Bulgarian Trademarks Added to TMview
Bulgarian trademarks can be now searched via the free online database TMview provided by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market of the European Union (OHIM). The tool enables trademark search on various official online database registers.

To access TMview please click here

Sep 15, 2010 (Newsletter Issue 14/10)
Opposition Period Will Change
According to the amendments of the Bulgarian Trademark Law the opposition period will change from 2 to 3 months, effective from March 10th, 2011.


Apr 15, 2010 (Newsletter Issue 9/10)
Adoption of Amendments to Trademark Law
On February 26, 2010, Bulgaria’s National Assembly adopted the draft Law amending the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications. The law was published in the Official Gazette on March 9, 2010 and enters into force in June 2010.

The draft law abolishes the previous practice of substantive examination and introduces opposition procedures. Previously, the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) had to examine the mark ex officio on both the absolute and the relative grounds for refusal, regardless whether an opposition has been filed or not.

Under the new system, trademark application will be examined on absolute grounds only and if it meets the requirements, it will be published in the Official Gazette of the BPO. Third parties have three months from the date of publication to file an opposition by submitting a written opposition.

This model corresponds to the examination procedure performed by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) - OHIM, which manages Community Trade Marks and Community Designs within the European Union. The transitional and final provisions state that the rules governing the opposition procedure will enter into force 12 months after the law’s promulgation in the Official Gazette.

Another novelty concerns the State Register of Trademarks and the State Register of Geographical Indications maintained by the BPO. The BPO will from now on maintain all files in paper and electronic form. The electronic form will be published on the official website of the BPO and will be available to everyone. The application for registration of a mark or geographical indication can now be filed electronically.

The new system aims to shorten the process of issuing trademark registration and to achieve full compliance with the relevant EU regulations.


Legal basis is the Marks and Geographical Indications Act (MGIA) of December 13th, 2019.
Bulgaria is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol and the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration on the first-to-file principle.
Nice classification, 11th edition
Registrable as a mark is a sign which is distinctive and distinguishes the goods and services of one person from those of others. Graphic representation of the sign in the State Register of Marks is no longer required for a valid mark application. Pursuant to the MGIA in December 2019, mark representation can be made in any manner that enables determination of the clear and precise subject matter for which protection is sought. Signs may include words, including the names of persons, letters, numbers, drawings, figures, three-dimensional marks, the shape of the goods or of their packaging, a combination of colours, sound signals or any combination of the such signs. Applicants can claim sound, hologram, position, pattern, motion, multimedia or other signs that can be reproduced on the register.

Pursuant to the MGIA in December 2019, service marks have been removed from the types of marks listed. Marks can be registered for both goods and services. Further, the current definition of 'mark' has been introduced.

The following trademark types are registrable: marks (goods and services), collective marks and certification marks.
The application is filed with the Bulgarian Patent Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local industrial property agent or a legal practitioner.
A simple power of attorney is acceptable without notarization or legalization requirements. The power of attorney should contain the name and the title of the person signing it.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic trademark registration.
The registration process includes:
1. A formal examination. If no deficiencies are found, its duration is one month.
2. Examination on absolute grounds – for marks filed under the national procedure, it will be conducted within two months after the formal examination; for international trademarks – within one month after the receipt of the notification of the International Bureau to the Bulgarian Patent Office,
3. Publication of the application for opposition purposes.
3.1. In case an opposition is filed - opposition procedure and issuance of a decision to uphold or reject the opposition, and consequently, to register or refuse the trademark, or
3.2. In case no opposition is filed - registration of the mark without any further examination on relative grounds.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if the applicant can prove that distinctiveness has been acquired through use.
The opposition period is 3 months from the date of publication of the trademark application in the Official Bulletin.

It should be noted that, during the opposition procedure, the applicant may request proof of use of the earlier mark, on which the opposition is based, if five years have passed between the date of its registration and the priority or filing date of the opposed application. In such case, the opponent is given two months for furnishing proof of use. If the opponent fails to provide evidence about the use of the earlier mark, the Opposition shall be rejected.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
The mark registration is valid for 10 years from the filing date of the application for registration at the Patent Office of Bulgaria. Registration may be renewed indefinitely for further periods of 10 years.
Practical details on grace periods for trademark renewals are available in our publication here
Practical details on trademark use requirements are available in our publication here
According to a new payment scheme introduced in April 2020, there is a single official fee for filing, examination, publication, and registration of a trademark application which is BGN 520 up to three classes for trademarks and service marks and BGN 1,010 for collective and certification marks. For each additional class, another BGN 30 are due for trademarks and service marks, and BGN 80 for collective and certification marks. The official fee for issuance of a certificate for registration is BGN 50.

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Practical details on trademark licensing are available in our publication here
Online you can see a limited part of information about this country.
More in-depth details are available for the following aspects:

     General Trademark Regulations
     Trademark Use Requirements
     Grace Period for Trademark Renewal
     Trademark Licensing

If you like to purchase all available information for this country, click the order button.
The total price is 49.00 EUR. A PDF-Download will be sent to you electronically.

SMD Group thanks the following law firms for their assictance in updating the information provided.

May 09, 2023
Boyanov & Co., Sofia, Bulgaria

IPConsulting ltd.

M. K. Vidinski 8, Office 2
1164 Sofia
Bulgaria (BG)

Krasimira Kadieva Intellectual Property Law

28 Hristo Botev Blvd., Floor 6, Office 10
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria (BG)

Zlatarevi-Sarsin I.P.G.

Dianabad 31b, b-1/14
1172 Sofia
Bulgaria (BG)

Patentcorrect Ltd.

55, Solunska Street
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria (BG)

Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria
52b, Dr. G. M. Dimitrov Blvd.
1040 Sofia
Tel +359 2 97 01 32 1
Fax +359 2 87 35 25 8

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
Avenida de Europa, 4
03008 Alicante
Tel +34 965 139 100

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8