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Trade marks in Bulgaria – implementation of the new European rules

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Leave your corporate legal issues to us. Petya Noycheva & Partners Law Office’s mission is to prevent problems from happening before they even arise. We succeed in doing so because we know our clients’ businesses. Our phone lines are always open for you and we will answer all your calls at any time. A first consultation with us is entirely free!

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Petya Noycheva

Partner

phone: + 359 2 958 23 38
mobile: + 359 888 64 09 73
noycheva@pnp.bg

Bulgarian, English
  • An attorney with more than 20 years of experience.
  • Co-founder and Partner in Petya Noycheva & Partners.
  • An attorney, specialising in national and multinational negotiations and commercial law.

Petya Noycheva’s legal expertise in the field of national and multinational corporate negotiations. Ms. Noycheva has a solid experience in conducting negotiations in countries from the European Union, Switzerland, the Middle East as well as in the USA, China, Japan, and others. Her success in developing negotiation strategies and holding commercial and legal talks with a wide range of business clients has contributed to her excellent reputation in international legal practice.

Petya Noycheva is an expert in organising the structures of the holding companies from the legal point of view and in the coordination of the legal advisors in the different territories; taking active role with legal, strategic and cultural advices.

Petya Noycheva is an expert in contract law and preparation of commercial agreements.

She works in cooperation with local and foreign law offices, which specialise in different areas of law, and if needed, she assists in finding appropriate consulting services from law experts in Bulgaria and/or abroad, supervising a specific case until its successful completion.

Ms. Noycheva is fluent in English.

Knows who killed Laura Palmer.

Ginka Dimitrova

Partner

phone: + 359 2 958 23 38
mobile: + 359 885 44 92 91
dimitrova@pnp.bg

Bulgarian, English
  • An attorney with more than 10 years of experience.
  • Ms. Dimitrova began her career at Petya Noycheva & Partners in 2007 and became a Partner in 2017.
  • She is an expert in food legislation, the laws on food additives and medical supplies and equipment.

Ginka Dimitrova has focused her professional interests in the area of food safety legislation as this legal sphere is currently being developed. She has specialised in European food legislation by attending a number of trainings and discussions in the field, including meetings with Bulgarian food safety authorities. She has initiated proposals for changes in the food legislation in Bulgaria.

Ms. Dimitrova is a consultant on medical supplies and equipment legislation. She is a highly qualified and experienced lawyer in activities related to registration, labeling and market placement of medical supplies and equipment of any class. She takes part in legal trainings about medical devices abroad.

Ginka Dimitrova provides consulting on corporate registration procedures for state and municipal authorities such as the Customs Agency, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, the Bulgarian Drug Agency, the Commission for Personal Data Protection, the Commercial Register, the Ministry of Health, the Regional Environmental Protection Agencies, and others. She has a solid experience in resolving various legal issues and has mastered her conflict resolution skills when such situations arise between representatives of the business sector and the state administration.

Ms. Dimitrova has a personal goal of protecting the right to court representation for all, regardless of their financial and/or social standing. For this purpose, she volunteers as a pro bono legal counsel.

Ms. Dimitrova is fluent in English.

Biliana Magardichian

Associate Attorney

phone: + 359 2 958 23 38
mobile: + 359 888 49 64 85
е-mail: magardichian@pnp.bg

Bulgarian, English
  • An attorney with more than 20 years of experience in the industrial property law. An associate attorney in Petya Noycheva & Partners since 2020.
  • IP Representative recorded with the Bulgarian Patent Office
  • IP Representative recorded with the European Union Intellectual Property Office

Biliana Magardichian’s legal expertise is in the field of registration and protection of trademarks and industrial designs. Ms. Magardichian provides consulting, registration, and protection for your trade marks and industrial designs.

Ms. Magardichian has a solid experience in the field of protection of the rights over objects of intellectual and industrial property, in researching of earlier rights, assistance in choosing of appropriate trademark for your business, leading of negotiations in case of established opposition procedures, trademarks monitoring, as well as in management of trademarks portfolio registered in Bulgaria and/or abroad.

Ms. Magardichian works in cooperation with local representatives of industrial property for countries from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, experts in the field of intellectual property, and if needed, shall assist in finding the most appropriate IP office or specialist abroad for each specific case, monitoring the process of registration until the procedure is successfully completed.

Ms. Magardichian is fluent in English

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Financial Support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Up to EUR 1,500 to defense the rights in the industrial property sector as a SMEs financial support 

 

At the end of the last year, the EU Commission, in cooperation with European Union Intellectual Property Office, established a Grant Fund of EUR 20 million supposed to be granted to small and medium-sized enterprises for development and defense of the rights to objects of industrial property.

 

What is this Aid Like

 

This financial aid can help with reimbursement of up to EUR 1,500 costs incurred with respect to:

  1. a) pre-diagnostic service of the company’s intellectual property and/or b) fees paid for registration of trademarks and designs.

 

And here is the rate of reimbursement for each of the two sections:

  • The fund will recover 75% (but not exceeding EUR 1,500) of the costs for the services related to the preliminary diagnostics for the objects of industrial property owned by the company;

 

The pre-diagnostics of industrial property of the company applicant is carried out and coordinated by the national institutions of the Member States. If you look at the list of the involved institutions, however, you will see that not every Member State is a participant in this program. The good news for the Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises is that the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria is a partner of the European Union Intellectual Property Office under this program, which in turn, gives them an opportunity to apply for reimbursement.

 

Pre-Diagnostics Service is not a legal service. It is performed by experts appointed by the national institution (in this case for Bulgaria it is the Patent Office). Experts, having become familiar with the company’s business model, its provided goods and/or services and future plans, will help the company build up its own strategy and decide which objects of industrial property should be registered.

  • The fund will reimburse 50% (but not exceeding EUR 1,500) of the amount of the fees paid for registration of trademarks and/or designs on a national level (trademarks registered with the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria), on a regional level (trademarks registered within Benelux), or on a European level (trademarks registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office).

Please note that each country participating in the program, including Bulgaria, is subject to certain admissible amounts of fee for the pre-diagnostic service. There are also admissible amounts anticipated for the registration fees of national, regional, or European trademarks and designs. For example, admissible fees for the registration of trademarks and designs subject to reimbursement, are the basic registration fees excluding the fees for an additional mark class or postponed design publishing. This means that if you pay EUR 1,050 registration fee for the registration of a European trademark in three classes, then 50% of the basic fee will be subject to reimbursement, i.e. EUR 850.

Otherwise, companies are eligible to apply for the reimbursement of costs incurred both for a pre-diagnostic service or paid fees for the registration of trademarks/designs, and for reimbursement of both groups. However, the total amount of the recovered sums will be up to EUR 1,500.

Who Can Apply

The financial support is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises, based within the European Union. The definition says that a small and medium-sized enterprise is an enterprise meeting the following criteria:

Category Staff Turnover (Mil) or Assets (Mil)
medium < 250 ≤ € 50 m ≤ € 43 m
small < 50 ≤ € 10 m ≤ € 10 m
micro < 10 ≤ € 2 m ≤ € 2 m

 

The application documents for the program, requests for registration of trademarks and/or designs, and the request for reimbursement can be submitted both by the company’s legal representative and by its representative.

 

When You Can Apply

 

In 2021 you can apply for the discussed program within five timeframes. For the second half of the year these periods are 01 July – 31 July 2021 and 01 September – 30 September 2021. Please note that any applications submitted outside the referred timeframes will be discarded.

 

The financial aid rules allow you to submit only one application within a timeframe. Then you can request: a) reimbursement for the costs related to the pre-diagnostic service; b) reimbursement for registration fees; or c) reimbursement for both pre-diagnostics and registration fees. You may not apply for the same service in two timeframes, but you are allowed to apply for reimbursement for one service within one time frame, and for the other service within the next timeframe.

 

Application Guidelines

 

First, the enterprise applying for a financial aid under this program should check if it meets the small and medium-sized enterprise criteria. If it does, then it should proceed with the next step to obtain a Bank Account Certificate and a VAT Registration Certificate.

 

Application forms and any attachments thereto shall be submitted online at the website of the European Union Intellectual Property Office. If it is approved, the company will receive a resolution on the provided grant.

 

Caution

 

  • A request for a pre-diagnostic service or payments of fees for the registration of trademark and/or design should be submitted within thirty days after receiving of the resolution on the provided grant.
  • The company may apply for reimbursement only after such costs had been spent.
  • No money will be granted under this program for a pre-diagnostic service that has already been done or for applications for registration of trademarks or designs already submitted and paid registration fees.
  • No costs will be reimbursed after expiration of thirty days after receiving of the resolution on providing a grant.

 

As the statistics shows, small and medium-sized enterprises who have protected their rights to the objects of industrial property used in their business (such as trademarks, inventions, designs, etc.), report almost 70% higher revenues than these companies who have not done that.

 

In this reference, the opportunity provided by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria in cooperation with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for the reimbursement for identification and defense of rights to trademarks and designs, will be of a great importance and help for the small and medium-sized enterprises, especially under the conditions of the tough economic environment in the country.

 

Please pay attention that this article is update as at 20/05/2021 and each case is strictly individual. This article serves for information only and do not accept it as a specific piece of legal advice.

Therefore, before taking any specific steps, and if you cannot find the answers to all questions that you may have, we recommend you get in touch and consult with us, and we will be happy to help you. Enjoy your first consultation for free!

The annual financial statements (AFS) are now announced only with a declaration of their adoption

On the 24.04.2020 were adopted amendments to the Law on the Commercial Register and the Register of Non-Profit Legal Entities (the Commercial Register Act).

As of the 24.04.2020 the AFS and the annual activity reports of the companies will be announced in the Commercial Register only with a declaration from the legal representative of the company, certifying that they have been adopted by the respective body of the company, which is responsible for their adoption. This change also applies to the filed applications for announcement of AFS in the Commercial Register, which have been not processed yet.

It is practically no longer necessary to submit together with the AFS and the annual activity reports of the companies minutes of general meetings of shareholders for their adoption, as well as evidence of service of the invitations to convene these general meetings. The only requirement to announce an AFS is a declaration from the company representative.