In Bulgaria, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction.
To obtain trademark protection in Bulgaria, one can register either locally via the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO), or regionally by filing a European Union Trademarks (EUTM) which grants protection in the whole European Union.
Bulgaria is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Bulgaria, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
In Bulgaria, trademark oppositions against an application can be filed by third parties during the period of three (3) months that follows its publication in the Official Bulletin. In the case of international applications filed via the Madrid system, oppositions may be filed between the sixth and ninth months after the publication in the Official Bulletin of the BPO.
Although prior use of a trademark is not a requirement for registration, if a registered trademark is not used in Bulgaria during a period of five (5) years, it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions for non-use.
Registered trademarks in Bulgaria have a validity of ten (10) years from the application date. They can then be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested during a grace period of six (6) months after the expiration date of the trademark, upon payment of additional fees for late renewal.