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Trademark registration in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a country with many advantages, especially economically and socially to attract foreign investment. Economically, Bulgaria has the lowest corporate income tax rate in the European Union, at just 10%. In terms of its strategic location, Bulgaria is located at the crossroads of the Balkans making Bulgaria an important connection point between Eastern and Western Europe, facilitating international trade. Bulgaria has a relatively low cost of living compared to other EU countries, a secure living environment and a good quality of life. Bulgaria’s immigration policy is relatively easy, facilitating investors. In general, Bulgaria with many advantages for economic development always attracts investors from abroad. To be able to distinguish businesses doing business here, the first thing when investing in this country is to register a trademark. Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily through the procedure for trademark registration in Bulgaria through the article below.

Trademark Protection

Legal basis

  • Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications (SG No. 98/2019, amended on 27 October 2020)

Definition of “trademark” in Bulgaria

A trademark is a sign, capable of distinguishing a person’s goods or services from others, and can be published in the State Register of Trademarks so that it is possible to clearly and accurately identify the protected entity, issued by the registration. Such signs may include, for example, words, including the names of persons, letters, numbers, drawings, pictograms, the shape of goods or their packaging, colors, sounds, or any combination thereof.

Trademarks can be individual marks, collective marks and certification marks:

  • A personal trademark is used to refer to a product or service manufactured or traded by the trademark owner. Trademarks may be owned by two or more persons and may be transferred with the consent of all owners.
  • A collective trademark is a trademark, so called when applying for registration, owned by an association of those manufacturers, traders, service performers, who are qualified by applicable law, as well as legal entities – entities that fall under public law and are able to distinguish the goods or services of association members from goods or services of others.
  • Collective marks are used in accordance with rules issued by the association and are filed in writing with the National Office of Intellectual Property when filing an application. A certification mark is a mark, which is listed as such when applying for registration and is capable of distinguishing goods or services, for those goods or services for which the owner certifies raw materials, methods of production of goods or methods of providing services,  quality, accuracy or other characteristics, except geographical origin, from goods or services, whose characteristics are not certified in this way.

The right to the trademark is calculated from the date of adoption of the registration, from the date of filing of the application, and belongs to the first applicant.

Trademark registration dossier in Bulgaria

Required documents

  • Application form (TM1): Download this form from the website of the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO): https://www.bpo.bg/en/home (available in English).
  • Images that represent trademarks: Can be physical images (ex: drawings, photographs) or computer-generated images. Make sure the image clearly represents the trademark the applicant wants to register.
  • List of goods and/or services: Lists the specific goods and/or services for which the mark will be used, classified according to the International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification). Applicants can find detailed information about the group of goods and services here: https://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/en/
  • Receipt of payment of registration fee: This fee can be paid online or at BPO.
  • Power of attorney (if applicable): If the applicant does not file the application themselves and submit it through an attorney or intellectual property representative, the applicant will need a power of attorney that allows them to process the application on behalf of the applicant.

Trademark filing fees in Bulgaria

Currently, the fee for trademark registration in Bulgaria depends on the number of groups of goods/services the applicant applies for according to  the International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification). Here are some fees

  • Maximum 3 groups of goods/services: 153.85 Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
  • Each additional group of goods/services: 30.77 BGN

Here are some sources applicants can find the latest information on fees:

How to file a trademark application in Bulgaria

To apply for trademark protection in Bulgaria, you can apply by the following application methods:

  • Direct filing: You can come directly to  the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) at 52b, Dr. G.M. Dimitrov Blvd. 1040 Sofia to file the application and related documents.
  • By post or email, fax: You can send your application and all necessary documents via postal service or courier service to the address of the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) at 52b, Dr. G.M. Dimitrov Blvd. 1040 Sofia.
  • Submit online via website: https://portal.bpo.bg/ When filing online you should pay attention to the payment of the relevant fee in accordance with the instructions of the Bulgarian Patent Office.

Registration of trademark protection in Bulgaria through the Madrid System

The Madrid system is a convenient and cost-effective solution for global trademark registration and management. File a single international trademark application and pay a one-time fee to apply for protection in up to 130 countries. Claimants can modify, renew or expand their global trademark portfolio through a centralized system.

Madrid Agreement:

  • Bulgaria acceded to the Madrid Agreement on 1 August 1985.
  • The Madrid Agreement allows trademark owners to register their trademarks in a single member state (“country of origin”) and then extend protection to other member states (“nominating countries”) through a single international application.

Madrid Protocol:

  • Bulgaria acceded to the Madrid Protocol on 2 October 2001.
  • The Madrid Protocol modernizes and simplifies the international registration system of trademarks established under the Madrid Agreement.
  • The Madrid Protocol allows trademark owners to designate additional member states to an international application already filed under the Madrid Agreement or Madrid Protocol.

Trademark registration dossier under the Madrid System

The Madrid Application consists of the Madrid Single of Vietnamese origin and the Madrid Single with the Vietnamese designation.

For the Madrid Application of Vietnamese origin, the applicant must submit through the state management agency for industrial property rights, i.e. the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam. According to Article 25 of Decree 65/2023/ND-CP, a Madrid application of Vietnamese origin includes the following documents:

  • Declaration of request for international registration of a trademark of Vietnamese origin (Form No. 01 in Vietnamese in Appendix II of Decree 65/2023/ND-CP);
  • 02 MM2 declarations according to the form of the International Office in English or French;
  • 02 trademark samples exactly as the trademark in the application filed in Vietnam (establishment application) or trademark registration certificate (establishment registration);
  • 02 MM18 declarations in English (if the application has a US designation);
  • Written authorization in Vietnamese (According to the form of Viet An Law Firm);
  • Documents of payment of fees for international registration of trademarks of Vietnamese origin;
  • Other relevant documents (if necessary).

Application fees through the Madrid System

The fees include:

  • Basic fee (653 Swiss francs; or 903 Swiss francs for a color mark) (Note! A 90% discount applies if the applicant lodges an application with the Intellectual Property Office of a developing country at least); and
  • Additional fees depend on where the claimant wishes to protect his trademark and the number of groups of goods and services he or she wishes to register. In order to expand its geographic reach, or modify or renew its international registration, the applicant will have to pay additional fees.

Trademark registration service in Bulgaria of Viet An Law Firm

  • Search and notify customers in writing of the results of the trademark search in Bulgaria;
  • Drafting dossiers and directly submitting and monitoring the status of trademark applications filed in Bulgaria on behalf of trademark owners;
  • Inform, advise, and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring trademark applications in Bulgaria;
  • Assist in monitoring, and representing the resolution of objections and feedback with intellectual property representatives carrying out procedures in Bulgaria.
  • Receive dispatches, and certificates and hand them over to customers (if any).

If you want to file a trademark application in Bulgaria, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the most effective support.

Disclaimer: This article was last updated in April 2024. Laws may have changed since then. Please contact Viet An Law to confirm the information in this article is current and for any legal assistance.

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