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For almost a year now, a new law on signs and geographical indications has been in effect in Bulgaria. With the adoption of the new law, Bulgaria has introduced into national legislation the EU Trademark Directive, which aims to unify national laws between the Member States.

In this material, we will touch upon the key aspects of TM regulation in Bulgaria in accordance with the updated legislative requirements.

What you need to know

Business owners who plan to register a trademark in Bulgaria should pay attention to the fact that the new law includes updates and amendments:

  1. Updating the TM concept. The graphic representation of the mark is no longer required for a valid application for the registration of a trademark in Bulgaria. Trademark presentation can now be done in any way that allows for the identification of a clear and precise object for which protection is sought. Given the technological advances of the digital age, this change will greatly facilitate and speed up the registration of:
    1. 3D signs;
    2. moving marks;
    3. holographic signs;
    4. sound cues, as now they can be presented in multimedia format.
  2. Changing the grounds for refusal to register a Bulgarian trademark. According to the new requirements, marks consisting solely of shape or other inherent characteristic of a product cannot be registered.Also, some grounds for refusal of TM registration are now fully synchronized with the EU Trademark Directive.
  3. Strengthening the TM protection in Bulgaria. The TM owners now have the right to prohibit preparatory actions related to unfair use (such as applying a violation mark on packaging, labels, tags or other materials).Also, serious changes have been made to the list of parties entitled to demand a resolution of the dispute over the violation of rights to TM in Bulgaria. The list of possible claims now includes a prohibition on actions that may constitute a violation.
  4. Solicitors for TM registered in other EU Member States can now closely  interact with the Bulgarian IP Office.

The list of illegal actions leading to administrative sanctions has been significantly expanded, and now includes the importation of goods into the country from third countries that violate trademark rights.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs wishing to register a TM in Bulgaria should remember that some of their own requests for trademarks have been preserved in this jurisdiction. For example, when registering a brand in Bulgaria by non-residents, a special permit is required, which is issued only by the Minister of this state. To simplify the task, as well as the subsequent work with the documentation, foreign businessmen often need to involve a local specialist.

If you need additional information on the updated legal requirements in the field of TM protection in Europe, we recommend that you sign up for a personal consultation on TM regulation in Bulgaria and the EU by contacting IQ Decision UK.