Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2010 submitted by Bulgaria (CWS/ATR/PI/2010/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 2009, there were changes in patent and utility model activities as follows:
260 national patent applications were filed (267 in 2009) of them
242 were filed by national applicants and
18 were filed by foreign applicants -11via PCT and 7 - national route (24 in 2009)
24 international applications were filed by national applicants
200 patents were granted under the national route (362 in 2009)
178 Utility model applications were filed (178 in 2009)
131 Registrations of utility models (144 in 2009)
10 applications for supplementary protection certificates (14 in 2009)
11 Supplementary protection certificates were granted (30 in 2009)
1493 EP were granted protection in 2010 (1049 in 2009)
The number of EP valid in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria was 4842 in 2010 (3649 in 2009)
By December 31, 2010, 1970 National patents were valid (1871 by December 31, 2009)
By December 31, 2009 502 National utility models were valid (412 by December 31, 2009)

  Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
  There is a slight decrease in applications filled by domestic applicants under the National route. Compared to the previous year, the number of the patent applications filed in 2010 decreased - by 7 for patent and the number of the applications for registration of utility models remained the same as in 2009.
The number of the requests for granting legal protection in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria of European patents increased by 444.

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide statistics related to patents
  The Annual Reports are available on the Office's URL:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=150
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/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=643&Itemid=416
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) which is a monthly edition. As from April 2009 the paper version has been discontinued and the bulletin is being published exclusively in electronic form - CD ROM, and on the Office's official web site simultaneously.

  Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
  In the field of patents:
published national applications for inventions (bibliographic data and abstracts); granted patents for inventions(bibliographic data, main claims and main drawing/chemical formula if any);granted secret patents (bibliographic data); corrigendums (bibliographic data); european patent applications and granted european patents valid in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria (bibliographic data):
Information concerning Supplementary Protection Certificates SPC: applications for SPC filled; SPCs granted; SPCs entered into force; refusals to grant SPCs; termination of the proceedings concerning SPCs applications withdrawals of applications for SPCs;SPCs expired
In the field of utility models: granted certificates for registration of utility models;
announcements for search reports
Besides, the bulletin contains announcements concerning all entries in the State Patent Register, the State Utility Models Register and the Register of the European Patents - legal status changes: lapsed patents; restoration of lapsed patents; list of patents in force in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria (quarterly); amendments in published applications; transfer of rights; changes in the name/address of the owner; licensing contracts; patents as a security objects; patents as 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 2010, the specifications of 240 granted patents for inventions and certificates for utility models registration and 1049 first pages of European patents valid in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria were issued using Eposcan, 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:
In Bulgarian - since 2006: http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=269
English abstracts of patents and utility models - 2006-2008:
http://www1.bpo.bg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=269&lang=en
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.

  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 current version of the advanced level of IPC 8, in force since January 1, 2006, is used since 2009 to classify the new applications.

  Coordinate indexing (domestic deep indexing systems, keyword indexing)
  none

  Hybrid system indexing
  none

  Bibliographic data and full-text processing
  The bibliographic data of all granted national patents and registered utility models have been send to the EPO (in Cyrillic and transliterated into the Latin alphabet) for their integration in the EPO data bases.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

  File building
  The Central Patent Library continued to maintain and update the paper (national patent and utility model documents) and CD-ROM patent collections.

  Updating
  The collections are regularly updated

  Storage, including mass storage media
  In the Central Patent Library the full patent documents are stored on paper (according to the IPC classes) and in numerical order - on CD/DVD.
The dossiers of the patent and utility model applications are kept on paper in numerical order under the application number
The European patent applications are stored in numerical order under the number of the request for validation.
The T3 publications (translations of granted EP in force in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria) are stored on paper according to the IPC classes.

  Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
  Full text documents and Official bulletins from other offices are available in paper or in electronic form at The Central Patent Library.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

  In-house systems (online/offline)
  Administrative system: Common Software - patents: contains bibliographic data concerning the applications and granted patents (including EP) and utility models.

  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.

  Existing online thesauri; their structure, presentation and usefulness for computerized searches
  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.
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
  The Central Patent Library holds comprehensive collections of domestic and foreign patent documents and other relevant material in the field of the industrial property on different media. In 2010, 18885 documents were added to the CPL collections Documentation of the 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);
- periodicals in the field of the industrial property.
The CPL provides electronic access to the BG full text documents (from No 16 598 - since 1973) available via EPO espacenet 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 - CS.

  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. In 2010, the total number of searches, especially for inventions and utility models was 3942 (2533 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) performed by the examiners - 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
In 2010 were performed 92 searches for infringement of rights and state of the art for national customers and 686 searches for legal status, name, patent family and etc. and about 15000 for state institutions.
Under the Special Search Programme with EPO are provided - 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
In 2010 under this program were performed 28 searches and 25 answers of questions
Under the WIPO- program "Patent Information Services for Developing Countries" were performed 18 searches for novelty and inventive step.
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
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 transliterated into Latin bibliographic data of all patent applications, granted patents and utility model registrations, published in the Official Gazette from N 1 to N12 2010, have been sent the European Patent Office to be integrated in the respective databases.
In 2010 the Annual Report for the year 2009 was drafted and published in Bulgarian and English on the BPO web site.

  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
  Special courses with lectures and practical case study were provided to candidates for industrial property representatives.

  Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
  Under the WIPO- program "Patent Information Services for Developing Countries" in 2010 were performed 18 searches for novelty and inventive step.

  Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
  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

  Studies to identify trends in new technology, e.g., by the use of patent statistics and preparation of monographs
  none

  Assistance furnished by offices to facilitate the changing over of receiving offices to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents (see also fourth sub-item of item VI, above)
  PCT-SAFE is used
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

  provide open source codes related to patent information systems
  none

  contain patent-related news regarding the Office
  News regarding the BPO activities have been regularly published on the Office's web site: 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.

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