Geographical indications registration procedure in Bulgaria

Last updated: 09.01.2020. This publication fully complies with the provisions of the new Law on Marks and Geographical Indications, promulgated on 13.12.2019.

Geographical indications shall be granted legal protection through registration with the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria. The registration procedure of geographical indications is regulated by the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications and the Regulation on drafting, filing and examination of applications for registration of trademarks and geographical indications. Geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs that fall within the scope of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs, under the Law on Trade Marks and Geographical Indications agricultural products and foodstuffs (OJ L 343/1 of 14 December 2012), hereinafter ‘Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012′, for spirit drinks covered by Regulation (EC) No 110 / 2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning the definition, description, presentation, ethics the protection and protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89 (OB, L 39/16 of 13 February 2008), hereinafter referred to as’ Regulation (EC) No 110 / 2008 “for products under Art. 92 (1) of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organization of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 922/72 (EEC) ) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007 (OB, L 347/671 of 20 December 2013), hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013′ , and for aromatised wine products falling within the scope of Regulation (EU) No 251/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 laying down, description, presentation, labeling and geographical protection these guidelines on flavored wine products and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1601/91 (OB, L 84/14 of 20 March 2014), hereinafter referred to as’ Regulation (EU) No 251/2014 ” are not registered under the Law on Trade Marks and Geographical Indications.

The legal protection shall consist of the prohibition of: 

  • any commercial  use  of  the  geographical  indication  for  goods  that  are similar  to  those  for  which  it  is  registered  in  so  far  as  the  reputation  of  the registered geographical indication is exploited;
  • improper use  or  imitation  of  the  geographical  indication,  even where  the  genuine  origin  of  the  goods  is  specified, use  of  a  translation thereof or use in combination with terms such as “sort”, “kind”, “type”, “imitation” or similar;
  • use of  any  other  incorrect  or deceptive  indication as to  the  source,  origin, nature  or  essential  qualities  of  the  goods  designated  on  the  packaging thereof  in  advertising  material  or  papers  concerning  the  goods,  such indication being likely to mislead as to the genuine origin of the goods;
  • any other action that may mislead consumers as to the true origin of the goods.

Right to File an Application

The right to file an application shall belong to any person who carries on his production activity in the geographical location, provided that the goods he produces conform to the qualities or characteristics concerned.

The borders of the geographical location and the quality or characteristics of the goods, and also the relationship between those qualities or characteristics and the geographical environment or geographical origin, shall be defined or established by the central authority concerned by the order of his head.

Filing of Applications

The application for registration of the geographical indication shall be filed at the Patent Office of Republic of Bulgaria in one of the following ways: – directly in the Patent Office; – by mail; – by fax; – electronically. An application shall relate to one geographical indication only.

The application shall contain: 

  • the registration request form;
  • the name and address of the applicant;
  • the appellation of origin or the indication of source;
  • the designation of the goods;
  • the designation of the borders of the geographical location;
  • description of the recognized qualities and characteristics of the goods and their relation with the geographical environment or geographical origin.

Each application  shall  be  accompanied  by:

  • a copy of the order for the demarcation of the geographical location and the quality or characteristics of the goods and the relation of these qualities or characteristics with the geographical environment or geographical origin.
  • a document issued by the municipality concerned certifying that the applicant carries on his production activity in the geographical location concerned.
  • a map or a plot with the borders of the geographical location.
  • a document certifying  the  registration  of  the  geographical  indication  in  the  country  of origin in case the applicant is a foreigner;
  • a document certifying  payment  of  the prescribed official state fees;
  • a power of attorney – if the application is filed through an industrial property representative.

Each application shall be recorded in the State register of geographical indications with a filing date.

Formal examination

Each application is examined for compliance with the requirements of Article 95 of the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications, namely: – whether the application for registration of a geographical indication has been filed with the Patent Office of Republic of Bulgaria directly, by mail, by fax or electronically; – whether the application contains the requisites and the documents listed above in this article.

When deficiencies are ascertained, the applicant shall be given one month to correct them. In the event that in the one month period the applicant fails to remedy the deficiencies, the proceedings shall be terminated.

Substantive examination

An application that meets the formal examination shall be subjected to a substantive examination in two months. Where there are grounds for refusal of registration of the geographical indication, the applicant shall be notified and informed of the grounds for the refusal and given a three-month period for objections. Where, within the three-month period, the applicant fails to respond or his arguments are groundless, a decision for the refuse of the registration shall be taken. If the geographical indication complies with the requirements of the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications a decision for registration shall be taken. The geographical indication is entered in the State Register of Geographical Indications. The applicant shall be registered as a user and shall be issued with a certificate of use of the geographical indication within one month.

If the geographical indication complies with the requirements of the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications the applicant shall be notified accordingly and given one month to pay the fees for registration, user entry, certificate issue, and publication. If the prescribed fees are paid within the one-month period,  a  decision shall be taken to effect the registration,  such decision containing also the registration number of the geographical indication as recorded in the  State  Register of Geographical Indications. In case the applicant does not pay the prescribed fees within the one-month term,  the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

Publication in the Official Bulletin

The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria shall publish in its Official Bulletin all registrations of geographical indications and subsequent changes thereto within one month of the entry into force of the relevant decision. The publication shall contain the application number of the application, date of filing, date of registration, name and address of the applicant, respectively of the registered user, name and address of the industrial property representative, if any, type of geographical indication, description of the geographical indication, representation of the geographical indication, the classes and the list of goods for which it is registered.

Due to the above mentioned peculiarities in the registration of geographical indications and due to the complexity of the procedure, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an intellectual property specialist who will prepare all the necessary documents required by the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications and the Regulation on drafting, filing and examination of applications for registration of trademarks and geographical indications. The law firm of Krasimira Kadieva will gladly assist you in registering of a geographical indication by providing professional advice and preparing all the necessary documents.

EACH CLIENT WILL RECEIVE A FREE E-BOOK CONTAINING ARTICLES WITH USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT TRADEMARKS.

FOR YOUR NEXT ORDER OF ANY OF OUR SERVICES YOU WILL RECEIVE UP TO 15% DISCOUNT.

Legal Disclaimer: This material prepared by Krasimira Kadieva aims to describe Geographical indications registration procedure in Bulgaria. It does not constitute a legal opinion and cannot be interpreted as individual consultation on any concrete facts or circumstances. The advice of an intellectual property specialist should be obtained for specific questions and situations. For more information on the above-mentioned issues and individual consultations, please contact Krasimira Kadieva at 00359 882 308 670 or make an inquiry using the contact form of this website. Krasimira Kadieva is a Bulgarian and European trademark and design attorney. She offers comprehensive analysis and strategy for the effective protection of trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications as objects of industrial property, both at the time of registration and in violation of the rights thereto. The IP lawyer in Bulgaria Krasimira Kadieva assists with the registration of geographical indications by providing professional advice and preparation of all necessary documents.