TERM AND TERRITORY OF PROTECTION?
A granted Bulgarian patent is valid only for the territory of Bulgaria and its term of validity is 20 years from the date of filing of the Bulgarian patent application, provided the patent renewals or maintenance fees are paid each patent year.
In the case of human medical products, this term can be extended by a maximum of 5.5 years and in the case of animal medical products this term can be extended by 5 years, by applying for SPC – Supplementary Protection Certificate.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES AND TYPES OF PROTECTION?
For less complex inventions which also have shorter commercial life, the Bulgarian Patent Law additionally provides a great opportunity to the applicants seeking protection in Bulgaria. In parallel to the application for a Bulgarian patent, the applicant may also file an application for utility model registration in Bulgaria for the same invention, invoking the filing date and priority date of the patent application. Additionally, the Bulgarian patent application may also be transformed into a Bulgarian utility model application under certain provisions specified by the law.
Protection of your inventions for the territory of Bulgaria may also be achieved through alternative routes, either by filing a European Patent Application, at the European Patent Office, provided that after the grant of the European Patent, a European Patent validation in Bulgaria is subsequently conducted, or additionally by filing international patent application (PCT application) and subsequently entering PCT national phase in Bulgaria
The protection conferred by the granted national Bulgarian Patent is the same as if the protection was obtained by a granted European Patent. The same applies if the Bulgarian patent was granted after entry into PCT national phase in Bulgaria from already filed PCT application. The advantages of filing a direct application for Bulgarian patent with the Bulgarian Patent Office are that the procedure, prosecution and costs are less complex and expensive compared to the European or International route with EPO and WIPO respectively and that the applicants can deal with BPO in Bulgarian language.