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Annual Technical Report 2009 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Bulgaria (CWS/ATR/TM/2009/BG)

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

I. Evolution of registration activities

In relation with the previous year, there were no changes in the filing requirements and examination procedures for registration of marks.
Applications:
- submitted under the national route - 5140 (4578 from Bulgarian applicants and 562 from foreign applicants) which is 28% decrease with respect to 2008.
- submitted under the Madrid Agreement and the Protocol - 2853 (300 from Bulgarian applicants) which is 25% decrease with respect to 2008.
Registrations:
- National route – 4671 which is 16% decrease with respect to 2008.
- Madrid Agreement and the Protocol – 2265 which is 47% decrease with respect to 2008.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

Compared to 2008 there was a decrease in applicants activity. The decrease is mainly due to the extension of the Community trade mark (CTMs) on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria after its accession to the EU on 01.01.2007 and the influence of the global financial and economic crisis.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to trademarks

http://www1.bpo.bg/images/stories/about_bpo/statistics_2010.pdf

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of secondary sources of trademark information, i.e., trademark gazettes

Publishing, printing, copying techniques

The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO) publishes applications and registered national trademarks in the Official Bulletin. The Official Bulletin is a monthly issue. It was published on paper till N 4/2009. From N 5/ 2009 it is only on electronic form and it is available via internet on the BPO website www.bpo.bg

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of trademark information

Publications consist of bibliographic data and images (in color, if claimed) and lists of goods and services of trademark applications and registrations. In the Official Bulletin are published also well known marks and marks with reputation on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and transfers of rights for the part of goods/services. Every month the announcements of all entries in the State Trademark Register are publicated - transfers of rights,changes in name/address of owner, revocation of registration of mark, invalidation of registration of mark, termination of legal protection, renewal of the registration, limitation in the list of goods/services, licensing contracts, marks as a Pledge Objects, marks as a Security Objects, marks in Bankruptcy Proceedings.

Mass storage media and microforms used

The bibliographic data and images are stored in the internal administrative management system Common Software (CS). The Office maintains a complete history of its trademark files in paper form (dossier) and parts of it such as bibliographic information in electronic form.

Word processing and office automation

Windows XP, MSWord 6.0, MSWord 2000, Page Maker 6.5 plus. National trademarks and applications are searchable through our on-line tool “BPO On-line”. It provides a range of search options including name of applicant or holder, Nice classes, Vienna classes, application filing date, registration date, application and registration number, TM denomination etc. This on-line search tool is in constant relation with administrative system and database CS.

Techniques used for the generation of trademark information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)

A publishing system with a HP Scan Jet scanner, a laser printer HP Laser Jet, PC Intel Pentium Based with Windows XP as OS and Page Maker 6.5 plus. All data including figurative elements are extracted from internal administrative management system CS.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online trademark gazettes and to other sources of trademark information, including download of bulk trademark data

http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=269

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of trademark information

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification systems used, e.g., International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks (Vienna Classification), other classification (please indicate whether goods and services for the registration of marks and whether the figurative elements of marks are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification(s) is (are) used)

In order to classify goods and services, BPO uses the Nice International Classification of Goods and Services (9-th edition). For the classification of figurative elements the Vienna Classification is used. All changes and supplements are entered in due time. They are sustained and used both on paper and electronically.

Obligation for applicants to use pre-defined terms of the classification applied

Nice classification is obligatory used in applications for registration of marks and geographic indications.

Bibliographic data and processing

BPO maintains on-line searchable bibliographic data for applications and registered trademarks via internet tool “BPO On-line”.

IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep

File Building

Dossiers of trademarks under the national route, are sustained on paper in two collections:
Registered trademarks - in numerical order, by nomber of registration.
Refused trademarks – by application number.
Dossiers of international trademarks are filed by number of international registration and additionally indicated as MI (mark international). The trademarks, for which Republic of Bulgaria is designated later, are filed by number of international registration and additionally indicated as ET (subsequent designation). The marks, for which Republic of Bulgaria is a priority country, are filed separately.

Updating

The updating of the files is regular depending on the number of registrations and refusals.

Storage, including mass storage media

BPO maintains all data concerning applications and registered trademarks on paper carrier (dossier) and only some of them in electronic form in the administrative management system Common Softwere.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

ROMARIN CDs, DVDs from WIPO and Community Trademarks Bulletin on CDs from OHIM are received regularly and are used in searching.

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

Common Software (CS) v. 3.30 - administrative management system;
TASS - search system for examiners, replaced by Acsepto on June 27, 2007
Acsepto v. 7.0.6.7 - search system for examiners;
Romarin - International Trademark Information Database
BPO On-line - web-based service for public access to information of the applications and registered trademarks in BPO.

External databases

Most frequently used external databases are: USA databases on CD-ROM - CASSIS; TRACES CD-ROM; OHIM database on CD-ROM; 6-ter CD-ROM; NIVILO CD-ROM; Acsepto

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)

In the field of trademarks BPO uses Common Software v. 3.30 as an administrative management system.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used

Hardware: Server: HP rp 3400;
Workstations: Intel Pentium based PCs, about 60;
Software:
Server: UNIX 1 l.xx as OS, Informix v. 7.31.FD5 as DBMS
Workstations: Windows XP as OS, MS Office as documents management, etc.;
Carriers used: CDs, DVDs.

VI. Administration of trademark information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering trademarks, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Planning, administration, automation, security

Paid information services on request available to the public through the Patent Office are as follows: Identity and similarity search; Searches related to the legal status; Numerical search; Searches on firm names; Search on CTMs and marks under the Madrid Agreement and Protocol; Issuing of certificates for legal status;
All the searches are carried in house and in the available collections of national marks, international marks and CTMs, 6 ter etc. The security is based on the different kind of access.
The trademark information is accessible on the World Wide Web of BPO office by On-line search system for Trademarks - "BPO ON-LINE".
The Central Patent Library provides free of charge access for the public to the Official Bulletins from foreign countries, to the CD collections and Internet databases containing trademark information.In 2009 3936 searches in the field of trademarks were provided (6320 in 2008). 20 of them – in the frame of CETMOS project (Central European Observation Service) and 91 – for OHIM.
Since 2007 BPO participated in the development and successful implementation of a project in the sphere of examinations of marks, called CETMOS (Central European Trade Mark Observation Service), together with eight countries: Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Republic of Croatia and Czech Republic. CETMOS is an English language platform which enables the clients to order against payment a trade mark search for the territory of the nine countries (for national and/or international marks as well as for CTMs) by filling in an electronic form. The result of the search will be sent to the applicant on electronic form within six weeks. The aim of the project is to help the applicant on choosing the proper strategy for the registration of its TM and at the same time TMs owners on keeping up with TMs infringements of abuse.

Collection management, preservation

The trademarks search collection (bibliographic data) is managed in electronic form. Data are extracted and refreshed simultaneously from our administrative management system CS. A structured backup regime is in place to ensure preservation of the information.

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and trademark information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

Information about the services in the field of trademarks is available on
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?lang=bg.
Status of the International Registration of Trademarks with Designation of Bulgaria.The file published on the Patent Office's web site embraces the period from January 2006 to date and will be updated every first week of the month. The information addresses all interested circles and will enable them to do a free of charge search for the protection of international trademarks in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, the preliminary full and partial refusals as well as for the decisions thereof.
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=354&Itemid=336〈=en.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and registration procedures related to trademarks; opposition and appeal procedures related to trademarks; etc.

http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?lang=bg

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., trademark search service(s) and trademark databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?lang=bg

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of trademark information, e.g., in the form of official gazettes

BPO receives by WIPO "The WIPO Gazette of international Marks" on paper and CD and the "ROMARIN"- on DVD. The Bulletin of OHIM - on CD-ROM and the Official bulletins of other offices. BPO sends monthly its Official Bulletin on paper (till N 4/2009) and on electronic form (CD)from N 5/2009 to 69 domestic subscribers, 44 foreign subscribers in 39 countries, 10 PATLIB centers and university IP-Points.

Exchange of machine-readable information

The BPO is exporting information in the field of trademarks and geographical indications to Thomson Reuters.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

Activities in the frame of Technical cooperation agreement between OHIM and BPO in 2009 were:Organization of exhibitions in four Bulgarian cities promoting CTM (Community Trademark) and RCD (Registered Community Design) systems;Organization and conducting of “Day of CTM and RCD” during the “Week of the Patent Office in the Universities”;Organization of a workshop on CTM and RCD;Read a round of particular lectures on CTM and RCD in the frame of other events, organized by Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria, as seminars, workshops, conferences and lectures at universities;Creation and publication of a Collection including articles, studies, analyses and summary of OHIM’s practice and of the practice of the Court of First Instance and the European court of justice in CTM and RCD matters;Creation and publication of Guidance for officials of the customs and the police concerning the CTM and RCD systems;Participation in Plovdiv International Fair;Maintenance of the created Seniority database; Establishment of “CTM & RCD Help desk”.
In the context of further development of the Bulgarian Industrial Property Network (BIPN) and lend support to Bulgarian universities a new initiative was started by The BPO called “Week of the Patent Office of Republic of Bulgaria and Industrial Property Rights Protection in the Universities”.
In cooperation with WIPO, a Worldwide Symposium on Geographical Indications took place in Sofia, Bulgaria from June 10 to 12, 2009. The Symposium addressed the topic of GIs from several points of views, including its legal, administrative and economic dimensions.
BPO in cooperation with WIPO and the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) organized national seminar for judges on "Madrid system for international registration of trademarks”, which was attended by representatives of the Supreme Administrative Court, Sofia City Court, Administrative Court - Sofia Prosecutor's Office, Sofia District Prosecution Office, BPO and UNWE.
IP awareness and enforcement modular based actions for SMEs (ipeuropaware).
Issuing of SMEs Guide in the field of trademarks – “Making a Mark” (in Bulgarian language). This guide was devoted to trademarks, a central element in the marketing and branding strategy of any company. It seeks to explain trademarks from a business perspective.

Training courses for national and foreign participants

Training courses in the field of trademarks and geographical indications for IP representatives (attorneys).

IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

provide information on legislation related to trademarks

http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?lang=bg

contain the Annual Report of the Office

http://www1.bpo.bg/images/stories/about_bpo/annual_report_09_final1.pdf

contain trademark-related news regarding the Office

http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?lang=bg

X. Other relevant matters