The invention is a technical solution to a problem in any field of public economy. It provides its owner with a monopoly advantage and provides him with various opportunities for realization and profit. This can be a product, apparatus, device, substance or system, or a method or technology that cumulatively meets the criteria for patentability - novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability and does not fall under the exceptions to protection enshrined in patent law.
Patent application for an invention
In order to obtain a patent, it is necessary to file an application with the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and to compile a description, claims and an abstract that meet certain legal requirements.
Once you receive patent protection, you receive exclusive rights to the invention, which include the right to use the invention (production, trade, offering for sale, etc.), the right to assign or grant licenses for the invention and the right to prohibit other persons to use the invention without the consent of the patent owner.
Maintaining the protection of a patent
The term of protection of the invention is 20 years from the date of filing the application, and the patent owner is obliged to pay increasing annual fees for maintaining the patent. After the expiry of the twenty-year term of protection, the invention becomes publicly available and any third party is free to use it without paying a license fee.
European and international routes to obtain a patent
Within 12 months from the date of filing the application for an invention in Bulgaria, the applicant must assess whether he wishes to obtain protection for his invention / utility model abroad. Adopted international treaties such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the European Patent Convention (EPC) facilitate the acquisition of industrial property rights for a large number of countries. The main advantage is the filing of one application, in one language, in one Patent office, instead of filing separate patent applications by the national route on the territory of each country of interest to the applicant. Both procedures are complex and the applications are subject to in-depth patent examination, so in the business community patents issued by international and European routes are considered stable and enjoy a good reputation.
Validation of a European patent
For a European patent to be valid, it must be validated in the relevant Member State of the EPC (European Patent Convention) within 3 months of the date of publication of the notice of its grant.