Types of marks with effect in Bulgaria
A mark is a sign which distinguishes the goods or services of one person from those of other persons and which sign can be represented graphically. The right to a mark is acquired by registration, reckoned from the filing date of the application. The right to a mark is an exclusive right which includes the right of its proprietor to use it, dispose of it and to prohibit third parties from unauthorized use in their commercial activity. The duration of registration is ten years and it may be renewed for an unlimited number of further ten-year periods.
I. Types of marks according to the scope of the territorial protection
1. National mark - it provides protection which is limited to the market of only one state. Registration of а national mark in Bulgaria is carried out by the Patent Office.
2. European Union trade mark - it provides protection on the territory of the European Single Market. Registration is carried out by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
3. International mark - international registration of a mark is effected by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) according to the procedure established by the Madrid Agreement and the Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement.
II. Types of marks according to their intended use
1. Trademark and service mark – they are used to designate goods or services produced or marketed by the proprietor of the mark. А trademark and a service mark may be held by two or more persons. Each joint proprietor may use the trademark and the service mark without the consent of the other joint proprietors and without accounting to them for any such use, unless otherwise agreed between them in writing. Disposition with the mark is carried out with the consent of all joint proprietors.
2. Collective mark – it may be held by an association of producers, traders or service providers, which association is a legal person. A collective mark serves to distinguish the goods or services of the association’s members from the goods or services of other persons. The association mandatorily adopts rules for the use of the collective mark that contain: data about the persons entitled to use the mark; terms for membership in the association; conditions governing use of the mark and grounds on which a member of the association may be prohibited from using the mark. The right to a collective mark may not be transferred. Persons who are not members of the association may not obtain permission to use the collective mark.
3. Certification mark – it certifies the material, manner of manufacture, quality or other characteristics of the goods or services produced or offered by persons with the consent and under the supervision of the proprietor of the mark. The proprietor of the mark mandatorily adopts rules for the use of the certification mark, stating: quality guidelines, material or other characteristics of the goods or services; the control measures taken by the proprietor of the certification mark and the sanctions imposed by him. The proprietor of a certification mark may not use it to designate the goods or services produced or provided by him.
III. Types of marks depending on the type of the used sign
1. Word mark - when consisting of words, including names of persons, a combination of words, letters, numbers or a combination of letters and numbers.
2. Figurative mark - when consisting of drawings or figures.
3. Three-dimensional mark (3D mark) - when consisting of the shape of the product or its packaging.
4. Combination of colors - when consisting of two or more colors.
5. Combined mark - when it is a combination of verbal and / or figurative elements and / or colors. Combined mark is also a word mark with special graphic script.
6. Sound mark - when it is a melody represented graphically by notes.
7. Scent mark - when it consists of fragrances. This type of mark is not subject to registration in Bulgaria as a national mark.