WHEN AND HOW TO ENTER PCT NATIONAL PHASE IN BULGARIA?
For the purpose of entering a PCT national phase in Bulgaria, the applicant shall file the international application with the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) within thirty one (31) months from the filing date, or if priority has been claimed, then from the earliest priority date of the PCT application, pay all the respective fees under national law and translate the patent specification (the description and the claims) into Bulgarian language.
Under the Bulgarian Patent Law, the PCT applicants willing to enter Bulgarian PCT national phase, may seek protection for a national Bulgarian Patent and/or Utility model registration in Bulgaria in parallel with the national patent or instead it respectively.
Foreign applicants (not being Bulgarian nationals or companies) are obliged to appoint a qualified Bulgarian Patent Attorney to represent them in the national phase before the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO). However, the Bulgarian applicants are also strongly recommended to hire an experienced Bulgarian Patent Attorney.
WHEN AND HOW TO ENTER EURO-PCT PHASE BEFORE THE EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE (EPO)?
For the purpose of entering a EURO-PCT phase, the applicant shall file the international application with the European Patent Office (EPO) within thirty one (31) months from the filing date, or if priority has been claimed, then from the earliest priority date of the PCT application. Upon entry into EURO-PCT phase, its EPO’s responsibility to examine the PCT application and decide on patentability criteria concerning the grant of a European Patent.
Additional series of “steps”, in order to fulfil the paramount amount of requirements, shall be performed as well. The minimum requirements to be met can be summarised as follows: supply the translation into English, French or German if the Euro-PCT application was not published in one of the EPO’s official languages; specify the application documents; pay the EP filing fee, designation and search fees (if applicable); file the request for examination and pay the examination fee; pay the patent renewal fees for the third year (if applicable).
In general, PCT applicants need not be represented by professional representatives in the proceedings before the EPO provided they are nationals or have place of business within the territory of one of the EPC contracting states. Otherwise, all non-resident applicants must be represented by a professional representative and act through him in all proceedings before EPO. Although not required by law in the first case, representation is also recommended for both resident and non-resident applicants, preferably by appointing an EQE qualified European Patent Attorney. Professional handling of the case is in the interest of the PCT applicant, ensuring that he achieves the desired goal and procedure before EPO is conducted efficiently.