“BVLGARI” is not equal to Bulgaria under some circumstances

perfume-2142824_1920The the Swiss Federal Administrative Court has rules in a case that regards two Swiss trademark applications for “BVLGARI VAULT” (for classes 9, 38 and 42) and “BVLGARI” (for classes 36 and 43).

The Swiss Patent Office refused both of them based on absolute grounds – indication of geographical origin. The reason is that BVLGARI was almost identical with the French word “Bulgarie” which is the name of the country Bulgaria.

The decision was appealed.

According to the Court, these signs although an indication of a geographical place, the name of a country, can be registered as trademarks. The argument for this was the Supreme court’s practice which allows such registration in case that the sign has acquired secondary meaning.

The Court considered that this is the case with both applications. Due to the long market presence consumers are able to recognize BVLGARI for different goods such as soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetic products, hair lotions”, “sunglasses”, “jewelry, watches etc. What’s more the Court allowed both trademarks for other goods and services in classes 9, 38, 42 and 43 because it was typical companies nowadays to use their marks for related trade, production and marketing activities.

Source:  Markus Frick и  Benno Fischer-Siddiqui Walder Wyss, Lexology


Global Innovation Index 2019

gii_2019_1200.jpgWIPO published its Global Innovation Index for 2019. Switzerland was ranked as the most innovative nation in the world followed by Sweden and the US. The rest of the countries in the top 10 are Nederland, Finland, the UK, Singapour, Germany, Denmark, and Israel.

Bulgaria is ranked 40 which is three places behind the last year’s position. More data for the country can be found here.

More information regarding this index you can found here.

Video explaining how to protect trademarks in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Patent Office started a new initiative for brief video tutorials regarding registration of different intellectual property objects.

The video below gives information on how you can register trademarks in Bulgaria. Although this video is on Bulgarian it has subtitles in English.

New database for protected plant varieties and animal breeds in Bulgaria

vegetables-vegetable-basket-harvest-garden.jpgThe Bulgarian Patent Office has launched its brand new online database for protected plant varieties and animal breeds in Bulgaria. This will allow everyone who has an interest in to do a search online. The database has a version in English too although you have to bear in mind that to search for protected plant varieties and animal breeds you need to do that using their names in Cyrillic.

The database is accessible here.


New lower fees from the Bulgarian Patent Office

BG-znameThe Bulgarian Patent Office reports about the fact that the fees for 19 different services, offered by the Office, will be eliminated. What’s more, another 44 fees will be reduced by some percentage.

The Office reminds that small and middle-sized companies can benefit from the 50% reduced fees for patent search services.

The new fees will come into force after their publication in the Bulgarian State Gazette.

Koprivshtisa’s music festival recognized by UNESCO


The music festival in the Bulgarian town of Koprivshtisa has been included as intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.

The National Festival of the Bulgarian Folklore – Koprivshtitsa – has been held since 1965. The festival promotes the Bulgarian folklore in an incredible way, assembling singing and dancing ensembles from all over the country.

At the first folklore meeting between 12th and 15th of August almost 4,000 folklore singers, dancers, musical instrument players, etc. gathered near Koprivshtitsa.

Not only musicians take part in the event – folklore story tellers, folk custom groups, etc. participate too. An interesting fact is that participation in the fest is open to foreign groups, illustrating Bulgarian folklore dances and traditions.