Bulgaria Adopts Draft Law Amending the Law on Industrial Design
On April 28, 2010, Bulgaria’s National Assembly adopted the draft Law Amending the Law on Industrial Design. The law was published in the Official Gazette on May 11, 2010 and is expected to enter into force in three months, on August 12, 2010.
Changes mainly concern the industrial design registration procedure. The draft law abolishes the previous practice of substantive examination, which was performed ex officio by the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO), and introduces a new examination and registration system.
The new system entails an application examination verifying whether an application meets formal requirements, whether a filed object is genuinely a design under the law and whether it contradicts public rules. If the application complies with the above terms, then a design is registered and the information about it published in the BPO Official Gazette.
Another change concerns the State Register of Industrial Designs maintained by the BPO. The BPO will from now on maintain all files not only on paper but also in the electronic form, which will be published on the official website of the BPO and available to everyone.
Another novelty concerns the application, examination and registration fees, which are EUR 25 (USD 31), EUR 40 (USD 49) and EUR 102 (USD 125) respectively. If these fees are not paid within one-month from the date of the receipt of the notification by the applicant, double amounts will need to be paid within one month after the given period.
Another important novelty is the possibility for the applicant to postpone the publication of a registered design for a period of 30 months from the date of filing. The applicants may request postponement in order to examine the market and their competition, in the meantime keeping their design a secret from competitors.
According to the transitional and final provisions of the law, the new rules will enter into force nine months after the law’s promulgation.
The new law will be in full compliance with relevant EU regulations.
For more information, please contact Milena Bogoslovova at our Bulgaria office.
Source: Bulgarian PTO
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