Bulgaria to Change Law on Industrial Design, Draft Law Prepared

Apr 14 2009 - 17:15

The deadline for submitting comments on the draft of the Bulgarian Amended Law on Industrial Design expired on March 31, 2009.

The draft law introduces three main groups of changes to the current Law on Industrial Design, which entered into force on December 15, 1999.

  1. Changes in the content and publishing of the state register of industrial designs;
  2. Changes that regulate the granting and withdrawal of industrial design rights;
  3. Changes in the registration procedure.

The first group of changes entails the following. The register will contain detailed information about registered industrial designs, such as the number and date of application filing, design’s image, the date of publication in the Official Gazette, information about publication’s postponement, the name and address of the owner and industrial property representative, registration validity and renewal, and any changes in above mentioned information.

The Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) will from now on maintain files for all industrial designs 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 draft law introduces a new registration system for industrial designs. Namely, the examination procedure should verify whether applications meet formal requirements.

The draft law stipulates shorter deadlines for submitting corrections to applications, for replies to preliminary rejection, as well as for the payment of fees in order to speed up the registration procedure.

Another novelty is that applicants will receive a one-month grace period if they do not pay application, examination or registration fees within the prescribed period of one month. However, in that case they have to pay double fees.

Yet another novelty concerns the possibility to postpone the publication of the registered industrial design. According to Articles 48a and 48b, applicants may request postponement in order to examine the market and their competition, and thus keep their industrial design as a secret from competitors.

The draft law, which is in full compliance with relevant laws in the European Union, is expected to enter into force nine months after its publication in the Official Gazette.

For more information, please contact Milena Bogoslovova in our Bulgaria Office.

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