Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2002 submitted by Bulgaria (SCIT/ATR/PI/2002/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
  1,151 patent applications for inventions and utility models have been filed in the Bulgarian Patent Office this year. 420 Bulgarian patent applications have been filed during the year, which represents a 10 % increase in comparison to the previous year. 127 utility model applications were filed to the office in 2002. 26 applications have been filed in the Bulgarian Patent Office branch situated in Varna that is 6,2 % of the total number of Bulgarian patent applications.

The number of foreign patent applications in 2002 was 735, 696 of which were filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Applicants from 40 countries have filed applications in Bulgaria. The majority of foreign patent applications was filed by American (18%), German (13%), French (4%), Dutch (3%), Swiss (3%), Swedish (3%) applicants, etc.

32 Bulgarian patent applications according to PCT have been processed and filed to the International Bureau of WIPO in the year 2002.

The applicants have filed 32 applications for new plant varieties in the year 2002, 30 of which are of Bulgarian and 2 of which are of foreign applicants.

A general review of the inventive activity in the different fields shows that no essential change has occurred in comparison with the previous years.

In the year 2002, were granted 685 patents for inventions and utility models, 57 certificates for new plant varieties and animal breeds, 32 of which were inventors' certificates transformed to certificates for new plant varieties and animal breeds.
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.)
  Official publications on paper

In the year 2002, BPO continued preparing and publishing its official publications on paper. 12 regular issues of the Official Bulletin in Bulgarian and 12 issues of the Patent Abstracts of Bulgaria (in the part for inventions and utility models) in English have been prepared for publishing by means of word processing.

480 specifications with a total of 11658 pages have been processed and issued.

In the year 2002, the total number of granted patents for inventions and utility models was 685.

The Patent Office maintains another very important source of patent information, namely:

State Register for Inventions
State Register for Utility Models
State register for New Plant varieties and Animal Breeds
State Register for Topologies of Integrated Circuits.

In the year 2002, BPO continued extracting data from the national database and printing specifications on paper to be sent for production to the Hungarian firm Arcanum and included into the ESPACE-PRECES CD-ROM product. 480 specifications on paper with a total of 11658 pages (included in the Official Bulletin from No. 12/2001 to No. 11/2002) and files containing bibliographic data and abstracts (in Bulgarian) were sent during the year.

  Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
  The following main types of announcements were published in the year 2002 in the Official Bulletin:

* bibliographic data and abstracts of patent applications - 905;
* announcements for granted patents - 374;
* bibliographic data and abstracts of utility model applications - 107;
* announcements for granted utility model patents - 92;
* announcements for secret patents - 4;
* announcements for new plant varieties and animal breeds applications - 19;
* announcements for certificates granted for new plant varieties - 25;
* announcements for certificates granted for new animal breeds - 3;
* announcements for inventors' certificates transformed to plant varieties certificates - 43;
* announcements for inventors' certificates transformed to animal breeds certificates - 3;
* announcements for marks registered - 2479;
* announcements for industrial designs registered - 305;
* changes of the legal status of the patents; assignments of rights and changes of the applicant's name, etc.; announcements for licensing agreements, etc.

In each number of the Official Bulletin of the BPO were published as well:
• numerical and systematic indexes of applications and grants for inventions and utility models;
• numerical index of applications and published certificates (if any) for new plant varieties and animal breeds

  Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)
  In the year 2002, Bulgarian patent documentation was continuously stored on paper, microforms, on CD/DVD-ROMs.

  Word processing and office automation
  In the year 2002, texts of 480 specifications with a total of 11658 pages and 24 regular numbers of the Bulletin (12 - in Bulgarian and 12 - in English language) were composed by means of word processing and circulated for public use.

In 2002, the contents of the web site of the Patent Office have been continuously updated.
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

  Classification and reclassification 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 new patent applications of the Bulgarian patent documents are classified according to the 7th edition of the IPC. The Bulgarian Patent Office does not reclassify patent documents.

  Hybrid system indexing
  Hybrid system indexing is used in classifying patent applications.

  Bibliographic data and full-text processing for search purposes
  During the year 932 specifications (466 of them - in systematically ordered files and 466 - in numerical files) of patents for inventions and utility model patents were prepared and ordered for examiners' use in the Bulgarian patent file. 959 first pages of published patent applications and 127 specifications of rejected applications for patents for inventions, which are published and examined since 01.06.1993 onwards, were logged into the file.

Full check of the numerically ordered collection for search purposes was made from Nr. 62001 to Nr. 63416 and missing specifications were completed.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

  File building
  In 2002, the Central Patent Library has continued to maintain and update the specialised paper file for the examination including the patent documents of Bulgaria, Germany and Russia, as well as the first pages of the patent documents of Great Britain and the PCT applications, copies of which have been made from the ESPACE-WORLD series - 4433 pages.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

  In-house systems (online/offline)
  In the CD-ROM collections of the office 1210 searches were carried out.

  External databases
  The access to Delphion and esp@cenet databases via Internet was utilized in everyday use.

  Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics, administrative support, etc.)
  Software used for administration of applications for patents for inventions and utility models is Common Software version 3.1 .

  Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
  - Hardware:
Server: HP rp 5430, new one;
Workstations: Intel Pentium based PCs, about 60;

- Software:
Server: Unix 11.xx as OS, Informix 7.3 as DBMS;
Workstations: Windows'98 and Windows'XP as OS, MS Office as documents management, etc.

- Carriers used: CDs, DVDs;
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library 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)

  Collecting, acquisitions, preparation
  The annual increment to the paper collections in the Central Patent Library for 2002 amounts to approximately 300 000 patent documents of 7 countries and 1 international organization (EPO).

  Collection management, preservation
  The Central Patent Library presently disposes of about 19 500 000 patent documents on paper of 27 countries and 2 international organizations and of about 5 000 000 patent documents on microforms of 15 countries and 2 international organizations.

The existing CD-ROM files of 25 countries and 1 international organization (WIPO - PCT documents) continued to be completed and maintained.

  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)
  During the year 2002, the Central Patent Library was visited by 3128 persons who made use of 8057 folders containing patent documents on paper, 3087 volumes of theoretical literature, 14357 patent bulletins and who obtained copies of 4182 documents - 14 772 pages. In 2002 some 461 searches in the CD/DVD-ROM databases and more than 459 searches in the patent office database and the internet databases were carried out for the public with the assistance of the library staff.
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
  Bibliographic data and English language abstracts of patent applications for inventions and utility models published in 12 numbers of the Official Bulletin (up to number 11/2002) have been sent to EPIDOS - Vienna and to the European Patent Office Branch in the Hague. The same data have been loaded into the web page of the office.

In the year 2002, the BPO continued sending to the producing firm, ARCANUM, Budapest, Hungary, specifications to be incorporated in the ESPACE-PRECES and ACCESS-PRECES CD-ROM products. 480 specifications (included in the Bulletin from No. 12/2001 to No. 11/2002) and files containing bibliographical data and abstracts (in Bulgarian) were sent during the year.

In the frame of the mutual exchange of patent information, 5796 specifications for 483 patents were sent abroad during the year. The Official Bulletin of the BPO was sent monthly to 74 subscribers in Bulgaria and 50 foreign subscribers in 42 countries. 12 issues of Patent Abstracts of Bulgaria in English were sent to 7 Industrial Property Offices and libraries abroad.

Loading of national data in Bulgarian and in English language to the Bulgarian esp@cenet server continued. In this connection, all bibliographic data of published applications and grants for inventions and utility models for the period from December 2001 to December 2002 have been extracted from the internal databases and sent to the EPO Branch in the Hague.

National data to be incorporated into the UPOV-ROM database for new plant varieties have been sent to UPOV this year.

  Medium used for exchange of priority documents
  According to the Bulgarian Patent Law, submitting a priority document on paper in a three months period after the application date is obligatory to claim the priority (if any, in less than twelve months period before the application date). Bulgarian Patent Office grants such priority documents for Bulgarian patent applications filed abroad and requires providing of the same on paper for foreign applications filed in Bulgaria.

During the year 40, priority documents of Bulgarian patent applications were granted and sent abroad.

  Medium allowed for filing applications
  Up to the present, paper is the only medium for filing applications according to the Bulgarian patent legislation and the requirements of the Patent Office. The applicant or his (her) representative should file the application in the required form on paper. Application forms are made available to patent representatives and applicants on diskettes. Since this year, they are accessible in the BPO web site as well (www.bpo.bg).

  Implementation of the Statement of Principles Concerning the Changeover to Electronic Data Carriers for the Exchange of Patent Documents (please provide a status report on the extent to which your Office has changed over to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents)
  According to the main trend for transition to electronic carriers of patent information, the Bulgarian Patent Office in the framework of mutual documentation exchange submits its patent documents on ESPACE-PRECES and ACCESS-PRECES CD-ROM collection. The office receives and maintains CD-ROM files for examiners' use (in the Patent Information Department) and for the public (in the Central Patent Library). The collections for the examiners at present are as follows:

- ESPACE-EPA - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-EPB - since 1995 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-WORLD - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-UK-A - since 1995 to now and continues;
- ESPACE-PRECES - since the beginning and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS PRECES - 1997 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-FIRST - since 1988 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-BULLETIN - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS EP-B - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- ESPACE-LEGAL - since 1992 up to 1999 and continues;
- ESPACE-ACCESS-EUROPE - since 1978 up to now and continues;
- BREF - since 1978 (FR-A, WO-A, EP-A) up to now and continues;
- PAJ - since 1976 to 1993 (according to the IPC) and since 1994 up to now and continues (according to the number of patent); since 1989 - to 1997 - unexamined patent applications of foreign applicants, ordered according to IPC (Sections A - H)
- USAPAT - since 1994 up to now and continues;
- USAPat Backfile - since 1790 to 1994 and continues;
- USAApp - since week 11, 2001
- GLOBALPat - since 1971 to 1996 (according to the IPC) and since 1997 up to 1999 (according to the IPC and the document publication date);
- USPS - since 1975 up to now and continues;
- CASSIS-BIB - since 1969 up to now and continues;
- CASSIS-CLASS - since 1995 up to now and continues;
- CASSIS-ASSIGN - since August 1980 and continues;
- CASSIS-ASSIST - since 1995 up to now and continues
- DIAPAT-RU - since 1994 up to now and continues
- PCT Gazette -since 1999 - up to 2001

The collections on CD-ROM for public use in the Patent Library are for 25 countries and 1 international organization.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

  Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
  1. Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation - Visit to ask for cooperation concerning the organization of the World Exhibition of Young People's Inventions, Tokyo, August 2004.

2. EPO Mission - Presentation of the EPO Patent Awareness Programme, Helmut Semmler, Public Relations and Mr. Axel Haefeker, Director Examination and Opposition.

3. EPO Mission - Interviews and Presentation Administrative staff for European Patent Grant Procedures for the EPO, Hotel Radisson, Sofia.

4. PECO Seminar: Bulgaria's Accession to the European Patent Convention, Sofia, Kempinski Hotel Zografski.

5. Working visit concerning the future cooperation with the International Development Law Institute, Rome, Italy.

6. Visit of Mr. Andrew Czajkowski, International Technical Cooperation, EPO.

7. Visit of the delegation from Industrial Property Protection Office of the Republic of Macedonia.

8. Mr. Mark Robinson in order to discuss Common Software problems and further technical cooperation at the BPO.

9. Visit of the EPO delegation in order to discuss accession and further technical cooperation.

10. EPO International Academy Seminar - Patents in electronics, computer technology and telecommunications and International Forum on protection of computer-related and business model inventions, EPO, Munich.

11. EPO International Academy Seminar - IP issues for governmental officials and information administrators, EPO, Munich.

12. Epoline - Annual Conference Nice 2002.

13. EPO International Academy Seminar - Information for Receiving Section, The Hague.

14. PATLIB 2002, Sicily.

15. EPO International Academy Seminar - The EPO: An inside view for new and future member states, EPO, Munich.

16. EPO International Academy Seminar - Search and examination with focus on physics, electricity, mechanics, EPO, Berlin.

17. WIPO Academy on Enforcement of IP rights, New Delhi, India.

18. Special seminar on IP rights for members of the judiciary dealing with IP rights cases, Paris and Geneva.

19. WIPOnet Regional Training Workshop for WIPOnet Focal Points of certain IP Offices, Geneva.

20. IP Digital Libraries Standards Workshop, Geneva.
IX. 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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