Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2009 submitted by Bulgaria (CWS/ATR/PI/2009/BG)

Click here to print the ATR form.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs).

Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

I. Evolution of patent activities

  Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year
  In comparison with the year 2008, there were changes in patent and utility model activities as follows:

267 National patent applications were filed (+ 7 % compared to 2008 (250)
178 Utility model applications were filed (+ 21 % compared to 2008 (147)
19 PCT international applications were filed ( - 5 % compared to 2008 (20)
362 patents were granted under the national route (+ 10 % compared to 2008 (329)
144 Registrations of utility models (9 % compared to 2008 (158)
14 Supplementary protection certificates were granted (31 % compared to 2008 (44)
1049 EP patents were validated ( - 6 % compared to 2008 (1111)
The number of EP patents valid in Republic of Bulgaria was 3649 in 2009 ( + 33 % compared to 2008 (2740)
1875 National patents were in force Up to December 31, 2009 (- 8 % compared to 2008 (2041)
412 National utility models were in force Up to December 31, 2009 (+ 19 % compared to 2008 (345)

  Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
  There is a slight increase in applications filled by domestic applicants under the National route. Compared to the previous year, the number of the patent applications filed in 2009 increased - by 17 for patent and by 31 for registration of utility models more than in 2008. The number of the requests for protection on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for European patents decreased - by 62 validations.
Here was an increase by 21% on the number of the utility model applications on comparison to those filed on 2008, at the same time there were no applications for utility models filed by foreign applicants.

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide statistics related to patents
  The Annual Reports and statistics are available on the Office's URL:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=150&lang=bg

Statistics related to the patents
http://www1.bpo.bg/images/stories/about_bpo/bpo_statistics07en.pdf
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

  Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the Office in the field of patent information, etc.)
  The information about patent applications, granted patents and registered utility models is published in the Official Bulletin of The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO). The Official Bulletin is a monthly issue and was published only on paper till N 4/2009. From N 5/2009 it is available only in electronic form (CD) and a free access was provided via internet at the BPO's website: www.bpo.bg.
(http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=269).

Till N 8/2009 monthly was published The BG abstracts of patents and utility models.The issue was only in English language and included abstracts and figures of all patent applications and granted patents and UM.

  Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
  In the field of patents: Published applications for inventions (abstracts); Granted patents for inventions(main claims);Granted secret patents(bibliographic data); Corrigendums (bibliographic data);
Publications of European patent applications and granted European patents valid in The Republic of Bulgaria: European patent applications valid in the Republic of Bulgaria and Granted European patents valid in the Republic of Bulgaria (only bibliographic data and number of claims)
Information concern Supplementary Protection Certificates: Applications for SPC filled;SPCs granted;SPCs entering into force;Refusals to grant SPCs;Termination of SPCs applications proceedings; Applications for SPCs withdrawn;SPCs expired
In the field of Utility Models: Granted Certificates for Registration of Utility Model;
Announcements for Search Reports
In the Official Bulletin were published also Entries in State Patent Register as:Lapsed patents; Restoration of lapsed patents; List of patents in force on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria (every three months); Amendments of published applications;Transfer of rights;Changes in name/address of the owner; Licensing contracts; Patents as a Security objects; Patents as a Registered Pledge Objects; Patents in Bankruptcy Proceedings

  Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)
  Used mass storage media are: paper (dossiers)and CD/DVDs.

  Word processing and office automation
  In 2009 the specifications of 240 granted patents for inventions and certificates for utility models registration and 1049 first pages of European patents valid on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria were issued using Eposcan Technique, OCR, Word (MS Office 2003) and Pagemaker 6.5.


  (New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), etc.)
  OCR is used for the generation of patent information.

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide access to online publication of patent documents and gazettes, and to other primary and secondary sources of patent information, including patent publication servers and download of bulk patent data
  The Official Bulletin
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=269
(Bulgarian version - since 2006)
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=269&lang=en
(English version - since 2006)

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

   Abstracting, reviewing, translating
  All granted patents and registered Utility models are issued with abstract on the first page. All applications for patents are published with abstracts.

  Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), and reclassification3 activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)
  The 8-th edition of IPC classification, has been used since January 1, 2006.
In 2009 the current version of advanced level of IPC 8 was used to classify the new applications and published at present documents

  Bibliographic data and full-text processing
  The abstracts and titles were translated to English and were entered into Common Software-patents database on Bulgarian and English languages.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

  File building
  The Central Patent Library has continued to maintain and update the specialized files on paper and CD-ROM. The collections of paper documents are arranged according to the IPC classification.

  Updating
  Monthly completion of library funds

  Storage, including mass storage media
  The data is stored mainly in a paper version (dossiers) and electronically (official database, hard discs). In the year under revue The BPO made an inventory of all paper dossiers of patent documents stored in Central Patent Library's funds.

  Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
  In 2009 the specialized search file (on paper) for the examination including the patent documents/first pages of Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain and Russia applications has been continuously maintained and updated.
Official bulletins of National offices are available in an electronic form or in a paper version in The Central Patent Library
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

  In-house systems (online/offline)
  The internal database Common Softwere - patents is used as administrative system. It is not accessible to the public.

  External databases
  All databases were accessible through EpoqueNET.
The most frequently used are:
International Patent Classification vers.8;
ECLA - EPO Classification;
EPODOC - EPO Documentation;
EPOS - EPO Synonyms
EPUS EPO-USPTO Class concordance
EUREG - European Patent Register
NPL - Non Patent Literature
WPI - World Patent Index (Derwent)
Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)
Common Software, v. 3.3.2. Soprano_CS is in process of implementation in framework of the EPTOS Project (EPTOS v. P6, Soprano_CS v. 4.28.02 in the test mode).
In addition the Office regularly uses the "esp@cenet" database that offers the free access to more than 60 million patent documents all over the world. The database is maintained by EPO.

  Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)
  The Office uses the internal information system Common Software, v. 3.3.2. Soprano_CS is in process of implementation in framework of the EPTOS Project (EPTOS v. P6, Soprano_CS v. 4.28.02 in the test mode). to proceed the applications of patents, supplementary patent certificates, utility models. The system is flexible and applicable enough to maintain official registers. The system archives all incoming and outgoing communications of the Office, provides the information on the state of proceeding, legal status of registrations and statistical data. The system also processes foreign applications within PCT and the European patents valid on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria

  Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
  Workstations connected in the Office network are of the Office staff direct service. The computers run WINDOWS XP and MS OFFICE - 2003/2007 software and the ORACLE database. The Office uses CD, DVD as data mediums.
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library, and information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

  Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings
  
The Central Patent Library is a part of the Bulgarian Patent Office.
There are no special requirements for the library use.
There is free access to the library's reading room. Mostly of services provided in the library are free of charge.

  Collecting, acquisitions, preparation
  CPL holds comprehensive collections of domestic and foreign patent documents and other relevant material in the field of the industrial property on different media. In 2009, 2847 paper documents were added to the collections (2767 in 2008), 979 CD/DVD ROM were added to the electronic ones (1023 in 2008) as well as 305 Official bulletins of foreign patent offices and organizations (552 in 2008).
Documentation of CPL consists of:
- BG patent applications and granted patents for inventions and utility models (utility model certificates - in accordance with the Law on Patents and Utility Models Registration in force as from 09.11.2006) on paper (since 1953) and on electronic media - ESPACE PRECES series (since 1992) and on DVD -facsimile copies (1953-1992);
- EP translations (validated European patents designating BG) - T3 publications - since 2004;
- more than 25 million patent documents from 30 countries and two international organizations (EPO and WIPO) stored according to the IPC classes along with a numerical collection comprising more than 4000 documents on microfilm;
- patents'/utility models' full text collections on CD/DVD and "access" discs from 28 countries and two international organizations (EPO and WIPO);
- full set of the Official Gazette of the Patent Office since 1955 as well as the Official gazettes and indexes of the patent offices of 40 countries and three international organizations (EPO, WIPO and OHIM) - on paper and electronic format;
- the eight editions of the IPC and the subject-matter indexes;
- specialized theoretical literature, including the newest titles in IP field - laws, reference books, guides, books, periodicals/IP magazines etc. 215 new titles were added (178 in 2008).
The CPL provides electronic access to the BG full text documents (from No 16 598 - since 1973) available via EPO esp@cenet service and to the bibliographic data of all national patent applications and patents granted along with the European applications designating Bulgaria and European patents validated in the territory of Bulgaria available via the Office's internal network.
The acquisition of patent documents (on paper and electronic media) is based on the mutual exchange of patent documents between the member states of the Paris Convention.



  Collection management, preservation
   The paper collections are stored according to the IPC classes and countries of origin. The electronic collections are numerical. All the documents can be used on request in the library's reading room.

  Interlibrary lending, resource sharing, networks of patent libraries in the country
  In the framework of the Bulgarian Industrial Property Network (BIPN) which embraces the university IPPoints (established mainly within the respective university libraries) and the regional PATLIB centres, the Patent Office is providing on a regular basis its Official Bulletin, Annual Reports and the discs of the series ESPACE-ACCESS PRECES including patents bibliography from the Region of Central and Eastern European States and TRACES (TRAdemarks from the region of Central and Eastern European States) including complete (text and image) information on the trademarks registered in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia as well as different brochures, books, booklets and other information material in the field of industrial property published by the Patent Office.

  Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)
  The Client Service Facility in the library's reading room consists of 4 computerized working places for consulting and printing patent documents stored on CD/DVD-ROMs and using specialized patent databases in Internet. The total number of searches, especially for inventions and utility models in 2009 was 2533 (749 in 2008).
Services provided at the Office's patent library - mainly free of charge:
- Provision of all kind of documents (patent specifications and official gazettes on different media, classifications, periodicals, theoretical literature etc.) in the reading room;
- Provision of information on the classification systems, legislation (national and foreign), international organisations and treaties, application and grant procedures, legal status, IP representatives and fees;
- Assisted searches for all IP rights in different IP resources, including internet databases of EPO, WIPO and the national patent offices (some of the automated searches are subject to payment in accordance with the official Price list of the Patent Office;
Paid services (on request) - chargeable in accordance with the Price list of the Patent Office:
- Infringement search for patent rights in Bulgaria; searches by Subject; by Prior art; by Patents family; by Name ; by Legal status ;by Number search
- Drawing up of preliminary expert opinion on infringement of patent rights
- Information on patent procedures in foreign countries
- Issuance of different types of certificates
Services provided under the Special Search Programme - chargeable according to the Tariff of Fees for the provision of paid services in the patent searches field:
- Novelty search
- Patentability search
- State of the art search
- Search prior to raising objections against the patentability of the invention applied for, patent invalidation request (except for patents granted by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria), or a request for cancellation of utility model registration
- Freedom to operate search in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Searches in the national database - by name, number, IPC classes, legal status incl. licenses pledges, distraints and inclusion in the bankrupts estate
- Searches in foreign databases: by name, number, IPC
- Patent family searches
- Monitoring of predetermined technology fields
8927 sources of information were used in CPL in 2009 (9087 in 2008).The automatic searches using internal databases, internet and electronic collections were 3887 (4000 in 2008).
The Office's website provides a wide range of information including basic information on IP rights, filing and registration instructions, fee information and full texts of legal documents. All valid forms are printable

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of patent applications
  none

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and grant procedures related to patents; opposition and appeal procedures related to patents; etc.
  national procedures
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=115&Itemid=356
official forms to be used before the Patent Office
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=357
European applications - procedure
http://www1.bpo.bg/images/stories/patents/ep_general_info.pdf
PCT applications - procedure
http://www1.bpo.bg/images/stories/patents/pct_general_info.pdf
IPC 7-th and 8-th editions
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121&Itemid=359

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., patent search service(s) and patent databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them
  The Office's website:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?lang=en

Information on Services:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=202&Itemid=292

Special searches
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=368&Itemid=339

Publications:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=170

Patent databases:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=43
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

  International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information
  The Official Gazette was monthly distributed to 69 subscribers in Bulgaria and to 44 subscribers abroad in 39 countries. The bibliographic data and abstracts, translated in English, for all patent applications, granted patents and utility model registrations, published in the Official Gazette from N 1 to N12 2009, has been sent to INPADOC-EPIDOS- Vienna and to the European Patent Office Branch in the Hague to be integrated in BG esp@cenet server.
240 patent and utility models specifications were processed and sent to Hungary to be integrated in the CD-ROM-ESPACE-PRECES collection.
The Annual Report for the year 2008 was published in Bulgarian and English language and was sent to 57 foreign offices and organizations and to 32 ministries, agencies, universities, Patlib centres/IP-points. The ATRs and annual statistics on all IPRs administrated by the BPO and ATRs were prepared and sent to WIPO and EPO.

  Medium used for exchange of priority documents
  Priority documents are exchanged only on paper

  Medium allowed for filing applications
  Patent applications should be filed only on paper.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office's website wherever appropriate)

  Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means
  In 2009, training in the field of the industrial property - Basic knowledge, was provided to the staff of the university IPPoints on the use of the IP information and documentation, incl. electronic and internet data bases.
Round table was organized by The EPO for the examiners from the BPO. The main item was patenting of inventions in the field of Chemistry and Pharmacy.
Various courses and seminars such as Searches in different Databases, Disseminating IP Knowledge in Universities were organized for the students and representatives of SMEs or research institutions; University students are regularly invited for visits and lectures in the CPL's reading room.
Two special courses with lectures and case study were provided for patent attorneys

  Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
  The most significant event was PATLIB 2009 in Sofia,organized by the BPO in cooperation with European Patent Office.
The BPO took part also in: Patinnova 2009 (Prague, CZ); in International Fair in Plovdiv; in The National exhibition devoted to inventions and innovations BULINVENT 09.
Meeting between The BPO, The State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies and UK business firms involved in transfer of technologies took place in Sofia.
Various seminars, round tables, meetings and other events were run by the Patent Office, single-handed or in cooperation with other national/international institutions.
Within the traditional official ceremony the names of four eminent Bulgarian inventors were recorded in the Golden book of the Bulgarian inventors.
More over 100 advertises about the BPO's activities and about IPR system in the mass media - electronic, published and websites.

URLs:
Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.):
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=434&Itemid=386 - e-learning
seminars and conferences
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=437&Itemid=387 - courses,
forthcoming events
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=103&Itemid=272
IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office's website that:

  provide information on legislation related to patents
  provide information on legislation related to patents
National legislation
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=41
European legislation
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=128&Itemid=174
International legislation
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=127


  contain the Annual Report of the Office
  http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=150

  if necessary, provide further information related to the topics referred to in the current ATR
  provide information on legislation and guidelines related to supplementary protection certificates (SPC) patents and utility models:

http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=75&Itemid=122
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=128&Itemid=174

  contain patent-related news regarding the Office
  News are available at the Office web site on http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=category┬žionid=2&id=3&Itemid=169&lang=en
X. Other relevant matters

1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.
2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.
3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.

World Intellectual Property Organization

Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS)

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