The Bulgarian Patent Office has adopted new Schedule of fees. The changes concern mainly the trademark fees. Now almost all fees associated with the filing and registration of a trademark (520 BGN up to three classes) should be paid in the beginning with the filing of the application. After decision for registration, there is only the fee for issue of certificate (50 BGN) left.

Up until now the trademark fees were seperated. The initial fee for application and examination was the smaller part (180 BGN up to three classes). The rest of the sum was due once there was a decision for registration. That was very conveniet for the applicant. The bigger expense was delayed and was due only if there was a decision for registration. That used to bring much more security for the applicant.

The change was expected. It reflects the newly adopted Law on Marks and Geographical Indications. The rationale behind the change is to harmonize the practice with other EU IP offices. The other reason is that most ot the work done by the examiners is before the decision for registration. Therefore, it makes more sense that the predominant part of the trademark fees are paid with the application and not with the registration.

Still, the merging of the trademark fees comes at a very difficult time for many businesses. When most of the applicants are trying to cut cost, now they would have to make the whole investment for a trademark upfront.

There is another unfortunate thing for many applicants. The new schedule of fees affects all trademark applications that are pending before the Office. In this regard, all applicants will soon receive notifications to pay the rest of the fees within 14 days.

Tags: LegislationTrademarks