Proposed changes of the Law on Patents and Utility Model Registrations in Bulgaria

A public discussion is open for all interested parties in the amendments of the Patent Law. The main changes proposed are result of the amendments introduced with the new edition of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Other amendments refer to the improvement of the process for protection of inventions and utility model registrations.

One of the proposals is the change in the patent examination process, the period for filing a request for search and examination to be removed and such requests to be presented at the time of filing the patent application. By doing so the legislator aims to make the process easier to follow and to remove the unnecessary period which may be missed by the patent applicant.

Another important amendment proposed is the introduction of the possibility for the applicant of an international patent application to file an application and claim priority even after the expiry of the 12-month priority period from the first international filing. The application and request for restoring the right of priority shall be filed within 2 months following the expiry of the priority period and the applicant shall make a statement for explaining the grounds for missing that period.

Further amendments relate to the issue of secret patents which currently are granted without making an examination on patentability. The proposed change is the process for issue of a patent to be suspended until a decision is reached for removing the level of secret information contained in the application, afterwards the process will continue with the examination on patentability of the invention. These amendments aim to remove the double standard for issuing patents with and without patentability examination.

Interesting and long awaited change is also the introduction of the possibility for the patent register to be published on the official internet site of the Patent Office.

Any comments and submissions for the proposed changes may be directed to the Bulgarian Patent Office until September 30, 2012.