What is a trademark?

A trademark is the symbol that distinguishes the goods and/or services of a business from those of its competitors. Symbols suitable for protection may be words, letters, numbers, drawings, shapes, colours, sounds, and various combinations thereof.

What types of trademarks are there?

Word trademarks – consisting of one or more words or letters (names, words, slogans, abbreviations, etc.);

Figurative trademarks– can include different types of images (logos, photos, emblems, etc.);

Combined trademarks – may include word and figurative elements, where protection covers their entirety (this is the most common form of representation, e.g. a combination of logo and word);

Three-dimensional trademarks – may represent different types of packaging (boxes, bottles, etc.);

Position trademarks – consisting of the particular manner in which the mark is affixed or affixed to the product;

Sound trademarks– comprising of a particular melody or combination of sounds;

Colour (single) trademarks can be composed of a single colour or a combination of colours;

Other trademarks – scents, patterns, motions, multimedia, hologram marks.

Why should you register your trademark?

A trademark distinguishes your company’s goods or services from those of your competitors by making your business recognisable on the market. The aim of the registration is to protect you from third parties acting in bad faith who may use the trademark in a way that could damage your company’s image and last but not least – it gives you multiple protection mechanisms (civil, administrative and criminal). The successful and valid registration restricts third parties from using the trademark, i.e. no one can use it in any way without your consent, including advertising their own goods and services. A registered trademark is an intangible asset of the company that is accounted for. A trademark may also be the subject of commercial transactions – lease, license, transfer, pledge, etc.

What criteria must a symbol meet to be registered as a trademark?

  • to clearly and accurately represent the object of protection;
  • to be distinctive;
  • shall not contain elements that could mislead the user;
  • shall not literally describe the characteristics of the goods/services for which it is intended;
  • an application shall not be already file for the same or the symbol is not popular in oral and written communication in the territory where protection is sought;
  • shall not to be contrary to public policy or good morals.

Where can protection be granted for your trademark?

A trademark protection is only valid in the territory of the country or countries for which registration is filed. This is determined by which intellectual property office you have applied for registration with:

National protection
National protection

Valid only on the territory of a single country, e.g. Bulgaria.

EU protection
EU protection

By filing a single application, the applicant receives protection simultaneously in all 27 countries of the European Union.

International protection
International protection

By filing a single application, the applicant can obtain protection in up to 93 countries of their choice.

How long is the trademark valid for?

Trademark protection is effective for a period of 10 years from the date of filing the application.

This term can be renewed indefinitely for subsequent periods of 10 years by filing an application with the relevant office – national, EUIPO or WIPO.

What else can we help you with?

In addition to full assistance before, during and after the trademark registration procedure at the relevant office, we can offer you:

  • Drafting a detailed legal opinion
  • Renewal of trademark registration
  • Infringement protection where prior rights exist in Bulgaria and the EU
  • Drafting oppositions and responses related to similar/identical trademarks
  • Legal representation before the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and EUIPO (EU Intellectual Property Office)
  • Application for cancellation of a trademark registration
  • Drafting warning letters and negotiating with competitors
  • Trademark monitoring
  • Trademark protection on the Internet
  • Surrender of trademark rights
  • Application for revocation of a trademark
  • Drafting and review of contracts
  • Drafting of cease and desist letters
  • Trademark licensing
  • Developing a strategy for the exploitation of intellectual property as a business asset

Do you need more information?

Contact us and we'll find the best solution for your case!