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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Feb 06, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 1/20)
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New Law on Marks and Geographical Indications

On December 17, 2019, the new Law on Marks and Geographical Indications entered into force in Bulgaria. The new law contains revisions whose aim is to mainly transfer the provisions of EU Trade Mark Directive 2015/2436 of 16 December 2015 into Bulgarian law. The new law brings significant changes to certain aspects of trademark substantive and procedural law, including a new set of absolute and relative grounds for refusal and cancellation.

Some of the important changes are the following:
- Requirement of graphical representation of trademarks abandoned (This change introduces new types of trademarks that had not existed in Bularia before)
- Procedural deadlines before the Bulgarian PTO shortened
- Start of grace period for international trademark registration clarified
- Bad faith as ground for opposition introduced only in court proceedings
- New absolute grounds for refusal introduced. Signs cannot be registered if they infringe on national, EU legislation or international agreements involving the EU or Bulgaria (e.g. geographical indications, traditional terms for wine, traditional guaranteed specialities or plant varieties)
- Possibility to cancel registrations on the grounds of earlier rights based on a plant variety or animal breed Denomination
- Single-phase payment model introduced

For further information, please refer to the article by Mr Batakliev, PETOŠEVIĆ Bulgaria, here