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Annual Technical Report 2003 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Bulgaria (SCIT/ATR/PI/2003/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.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.


I. Evolution of patent activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year

958 patent applications for inventions have been filed in Bulgarian Patent Office this year, 278 of which were of domestic applicants, as this number represents slight decrease in comparison to the previous year. Totally 127 utility model applications were filed in the office in 2003 of which only 1 was of a foreign applicant.
The number of the foreign patent applications in 2003 was 680, 196 of which were filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Applicants from 40 countries have filed applications in Bulgaria. The main part of the foreign patent applications consists of American (16%), German (15%), French (5%), Dutch (4%), British (3%), Swiss (2%), Swedish (2%) applications etc.
45 Bulgarian patent applications according to PCT have been processed and filed to the International Bureau of WIPO in the year 2003.
The applicants have filed 39 applications for new plant varieties in the year 2003, 29 of which were of Bulgarian and 10 of which were of foreign applicants.
A general review of the inventive activity in the different fields shows that no essential change has occurred in comparison with the previous years.
In the year 2003, 315 patents for inventions (214 of them – foreign), 59 patents for utility models (only domestic), 51 certificates for new plant varieties and animal breeds (1 of them – foreign) were granted.

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the office in the field of patent information, etc.)

Official publications on paper

In the year 2003 BPO continued preparing and publishing of its official publications on paper. 12 regular issues of the Official Bulletin in Bulgarian and 12 issues of the Patent Abstracts of Bulgaria (in the part for inventions and utility models) in English have been prepared for publishing by means of word processing.
315 specifications with totally 5833 pages have been processed and issued.
In the year 2003 the total number of granted patents for inventions and utility models was 374.
The Patent Office maintains another very important source of patent information, namely:

State Register for Inventions
State Register for Utility Models
State register for New Plant varieties and Animal Breeds
State Register for Topologies of Integrated Circuits.

In the year 2003 BPO continued extracting of data from the national database and printing of specifications on paper to be sent to the producing Hungarian firm Arcanum and included into the ESPACE-PRECES CD-ROM product. 315 specifications on paper with totally 5833 pages (included in the Official Bulletin from No. 1/2003 to No. 12/2003) and files containing bibliographic data and abstracts (in Bulgarian) were sent during the year.

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

The following main types of announcements were published in the year 2003 in the Official Bulletin:
* bibliographic data and abstracts of patent applications - 953;
* announcements for granted patents - 315;
* bibliographic data and abstracts of utility model applications - 105;
* announcements for granted utility model patents - 59;
* announcements for secret patents – 1;
* announcements for new plant varieties and animal breeds applications - 49;
* announcements for certificates granted for new plant varieties – 43;
* announcements for certificates granted for new animal breeds - 1;
* announcements for inventors’ certificates transformed to plant varieties certificates - 7;
* announcements for marks registered – 2730;
* announcements for industrial designs registered – 319;
* announcements for registered geographic indications – 5;
* changes of the legal status of the patents; assignments of rights and changes of the applicant’s name etc.; announcements for licensing agreements etc.

In each number of the Official Bulletin of the BPO were published as well:
• numerical and systematic indexes of applications and grants for inventions and utility models;
• numerical index of applications and published certificates (if any) for new plant varieties and animal breeds.

Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)

In the year 2003 Bulgarian patent documentation was continuously stored on paper, microforms, on CD/DVD-ROMs.

Word processing and office automation

In the year 2003 texts of 315 specifications with totally 5833 pages and 24 regular numbers of the Bulletin (12 - in Bulgarian and 12 - in English language) were composed by means of word processing and circulated for public use.
In 2003 the content of the web site of the Patent Office has been continuously updated.
In 2003 the Bulgarian Patent Office web site has been regularly updated, completed and maintained. As a result of the permanent efforts to broaden the information services of the patent office and to make them accessible in an easier way, in the second half of 2003 the web-based trial version of an information system for searching all national trade marks registrations – BPO-Online, was launched.

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

The new patent applications of the Bulgarian patent documents are classified according to the 7th edition of the IPC. The Bulgarian Patent Office does not reclassify patent documents.

Hybrid system indexing

Hybrid system indexing is used in classifying of patent applications.

Bibliographic data and full-text processing for search purposes

During the year 748 specifications (374 of them – in systematically ordered files and 374 – in numerical files) of patents for inventions and utility model patents were prepared and ordered for examiners’ use in the Bulgarian patent file. 1087 first pages of published patent applications and 307 specifications of rejected applications for patents for inventions, which are published and examined since 01.06.1993 onwards, were lodged into the file. 250 accepted applications for patents for inventions deemed to be withdrawn (for not payment of the fees) were also lodged into the file.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

In 2003 the Central Patent Library has continued to maintain and update the specialised paper file for the examination including the patent documents of Bulgaria, Germany and Russia as well as the first pages of the patent documents of Great Britain and the PCT applications, copies of which have been made from the ESPACE-WORLD series.

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

In 2003 the specialized search file (on paper) for the examination including the patent documents/first pages of Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and WIPO – PCT applications has been continuously maintained and updated.

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

In the CD-ROM collections of the office over 1000 searches were carried out. Common Software for patents is used in everyday work of the patent examiners.

External databases

The access to Delphion and esp@cenet databases via Internet was utilized in everyday use.

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

Software used for administration of applications for patent for inventions and utility models is Common Software version 3.2.4.

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

- hardware:
- Server: HP rp 5430
- Workstations: Intel Pentium based PCs, about 60;
- Network – LAN 100 Mbps
- software:
- Server: Unix 11.xx as OS, Informix 7.3 as DBMS;
- Workstations: Windows’98 and Windows’XP as OS, MS Office as documents management, etc.
- carriers used: CDs, DVDs;

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Collecting, acquisitions, preparation

The annual increment to the paper collections in the Central Patent Library for 2003 amounts to approximately 270 000 patent documents of 7 countries and 1 international organization (EPO).
In the year under review the existing electronic collection containing the patent documents of 25 countries and 2 international organizations has been completed with 1062 discs.

Collection management, preservation

The Central Patent Library presently disposes of about 19 770 000 patent documents on paper of 27 countries and 2 international organizations and of about 5 000000 patent documents on microforms of 15 countries and 2 international organizations.

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

In 2003 the Central Patent Library reading room was visited by some 3000 persons who made use of some 6000 folders containing patent documents on paper, 13 000 official gazettes, 2200 theoretical materials and more than 2000 CD/DVD-ROMs. Copies of some 16 000 documents on different media have been made. With the assistance of the library’s specialists 950 searches in BPO patents and utility models bibliographic database, 2200 searches in the electronic collections and 1532 – in the internet databases were carried out. In the year under review some 50 consultations were given to the clients of the CPL.
The annual Catalogue of the new literature including 529 entries with bibliographical data in the original language of the publication has been published and distributed to 25 outside users.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information

Bibliographic data and English language abstracts of patent applications for inventions and utility models published in 12 numbers of the Official Bulletin (up to number 12/2003) has been sent to EPIDOS - Vienna and to the European Patent Office Branch in the Hague. The same data have been loaded into the web page of the office.
In the year 2003 the BPO continued sending to the producing firm ARCANUM, Budapest, Hungary specifications to be incorporated in the ESPACE-PRECES and ACCESS-PRECES CD-ROM products. 315 specifications (included in the Bulletin from No. 1/2003 to No. 12/2003) and files containing bibliographical data and abstracts (in Bulgarian) were sent during the year.
In the frame of the mutual exchange of patent information 4692 specifications for 391 patents were sent abroad during the year. The Official Bulletin of the BPO has been sent monthly to 65 subscribers in Bulgaria and 47 foreign subscribers in 41 countries. 12 issues of Patent Abstracts of Bulgaria in English were sent to 7 Industrial Property Offices and libraries abroad.
Loading of national data in Bulgarian and in English language to the Bulgarian esp@cenet server continued. In this connection all bibliographic data of published applications and grants for inventions and utility models for the period from January 2003 to December 2003 have been extracted from the internal databases and sent to the EPO Branch in The Hague.
National data to be incorporated into the UPOV-ROM database for new plant varieties have been sent to UPOV this year.

Medium used for exchange of priority documents

According to the Bulgarian Patent Law submitting of priority document on paper in three months period after the application date is obligatory to claim the priority (if any, in less than twelve months period before the application date). Bulgarian Patent Office grants such priority documents for Bulgarian patent applications filed abroad and requires providing of the same on paper for foreign applications filed in Bulgaria.
During the year 73 priority documents of Bulgarian patent applications were granted and sent abroad.

Medium allowed for filing applications

Up to the present the paper is the only medium for filing applications according to the Bulgarian patent legislation and the requirements of the Patent Office. The applicant or his (her) representative should file the application in the required form on paper. Application forms are made available to patent representatives and applicants on diskettes. Since this year they are accessible in the BPO web site as well (

Implementation of the Statement of Principles Concerning the Changeover to Electronic Data Carriers for the Exchange of Patent Documents (please make a status report on the extent to which your Office has changed over to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents)

According to the main trend for transition to electronic carriers of patent information the Bulgarian Patent Office in the framework of the mutual documentation exchange submits its patent documents on ESPACE-PRECES and ACCESS-PRECES CD-ROM collection. The office receives and maintains CD-ROM files for examiners use (in the Patent Information Department) and for the public (in the Central Patent Library). The collections for the examiners at present are as follows:

- ESPACE-EPA - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-EPB - since 1995 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-WORLD - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-UK-A - since 1995 to now and continues;
- ESPACE-PRECES - since the beginning and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS PRECES - 1997 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-FIRST - since 1988 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-BULLETIN - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS EP-B - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-LEGAL – since 1992 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS-EUROPE – since 1978 up to now and continues;
- BREF - since 1978 (FR-A, WO-A, EP-A) up to now and continues;
- PAJ – since 1976 to 1993 (according to the IPC) and since 1994 up to now and continues (according to the number of patent); since 1989 – to 1997 – unexamined patent applications of foreign applicants, ordered according to IPC (Sections A - H)
- USAPAT - since 1994 up to now and continues;
- USAPat Backfile – since 1790 to 1994 and continues;
- USAApp – since week 11, 2001
- GLOBALPat – since 1971 to 1996 (according to the IPC) and since 1997 up to 1999 (according to the IPC and the document publication date);
- USPS - since 1975 up to now and continues;
- CASSIS-BIB - since 1969 up to now and continues;
- CASSIS-CLASS – since 1995 up to now and continues;
- CASSIS-ASSIGN - since august 1980 and continues;
- CASSIS-ASSIST – since 1995 up to now and continues
- DIAPAT-RU - since 1994 up to now and continues
- PCT Gazette –since 1999 – up to 2001

The collections on CD-ROM for public use in the Patent Library are for 25 countries and 1 international organization.

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

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

•Bulgarian-German conference on “Problems of the legal protection of utility models” took place in Sofia. It was organized by GTZ – Coordination Bureau in Bulgaria jointly with the BPO and the Bulgarian Industrial Association, December 2003
•Round table at the Industrial Property Centre of the Patent Office in the town Varna on “Problems of the law enforcing bodies in connection with the enforcement of IP rights”
•International Conference on “Bulgaria and the industrial property system – development and prospects”, organized jointly with the Union of Inventors in Bulgaria
•BPO participated in the 59th International Technical Fair Plovdiv’2003 together with the European Patent Office
•Exhibition on “Inventions – a tool for business development and growth”
•EPO Seminar: Search and examination of European Patent Application, Berlin, 19-28.05.2003
•EPO Seminar: Search and examination of European Patent Application (for EPOQUE users), Berlin, 10-19.11.2003
•EPO Seminar: Search and examination with focus on chemistry, in particular pharmaceuticals, The Hague, 15-24.09.2003
•EPO Seminar: Enforcement of IP rights and patent litigation, Munich, 17-21.03.2003
•EPO Seminar: Administrative issues and related information systems in the patent granting procedure, The Hague, 31.03 – 09.04.2003
•EPO Seminar: Search and examination of patent applications in physics, electricity and mechanics, The Hague, 03-12.11.2003
•EPO Seminar: Search and examination of patent applications in biotechnology, 02-06.06.2003, Munich
•EPO Seminar: Search and examination of PCT applications AND 9b:International Forum on the PCT procedure: Recent changes Search and examination of patent applications, Munich, 03-05.11. and 06-07.11.2003
•EPO Seminar: Public Symposium “How to get a European patent”, Munich, 30.06-03.07.2003
•EPO Seminar: Workshop on communication and public relation management, member state, aug/sept
•EPO Seminar: Workshop on IP teaching and training material, Turin, 23-27.06.2003
•EPO Seminar: Patent Office website conception, design and maintenance (intermediate level), Vienna, 07.04-11.04.2003
•EPO Seminar: A guide through IP documentation, Geneva, Vienna, 4-6.06.03 and 10-18.06.2003
•EPO Seminar: OEB-OMPI seminaire inter-regional:un guide pour l’utilisation de la documentation dans le domaine de la propriete industrielle, Geneve, La Haye, 4-6.06.03 and 10-18.06.2003
•EPO Seminar: Appeal procedure at the EPO, Munich, 08-12.09.2003
•EPO Seminar: The EPO:an inside view for new and future member states, 24.11-27.11.2003

IX. Other relevant matters


1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.


2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.


3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.