Hotel Giant Successful in Non-Use Revocation Action in Bulgaria

Mar 28 2014 - 12:24

A globally known brand of hotels and resorts, represented by PETOSEVIC, was successful in a recent non-use trademark revocation proceeding before the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO).

On January 16, the BPO revoked two trademark registrations in the name of a Bulgarian hospitality company, involved in the construction of a hotel for which they planned to use the name identical to the plaintiff’s.

The BPO stated that the evidence the Bulgarian company submitted did not prove the “legitimate reasons for non-use” of the trademarks.

There is no legal definition in the Bulgarian Law on Marks and Geographical Indications (LMGI) for the term “legitimate reasons for non-use”. The term can be defined in the sense of Article 19 of the TRIPS Agreement outlining the valid reasons for non-use, such as “circumstances arising independently of the will of the owner of the trademark which constitute an obstacle to the use of the trademark, such as import restrictions on or other government requirements for goods or services protected by the trademark”.

The BPO concluded that the evidence submitted by the defendant shows the owner’s intent to use the trademarks, but not the genuine use.

The decision can be appealed before the Administrative Court Sofia City.

By: Valeri Penev

For more information, please contact Valeri Penev at our Bulgaria office.

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