January 28, 2020

Legislative and fee amendments in Bulgaria, Finland, Turkmenistan and Serbia

The intellectual property offices of Turkmenistan, Finland and Serbia have announced several changes to their IP fees, whilst Bulgaria has enforced significant amendments to its trademark legislation.

As of January 1, 2020, Finland has implemented new fees which continue to compensate applicants opting to file trademarks online. The filing fee for a trademark submitted electronically is now 225 EUR, while it will cost an additional 50 EUR for filing in paper form. The cost of trademark registration will now constitute 150 EUR if filed in paper form, or 100 EUR if filed online. The lower fees for electronic submissions will now also include oppositions to registered trademarks, as well as administrative revocation or invalidation of applications. As such, the fee for filing an opposition to a trademark registration in paper form is 325 EUR, dropping to 275 EUR if filed online. The paper fee for administrative revocation or invalidation of trademarks is now 450 EUR, costing 400 EUR to file the same electronically.

Design fees in Finland have also been amended in a similar manner, with a discounted online fee exclusively for filing. An inflated fee of 250 EUR will be due if the application is submitted online, rising to 300 EUR if filed in paper form, alongside a 55 EUR fee for additional classes thereafter. Furthermore, the fee for design publication has been abolished.

Having entered into effect on December 14, 2019, Serbia has also amended its intellectual property fees, compensating those who file through electronic means as opposed to paper applications. The legislative amendments prescribe that the online system should be utilised for requesting the grant of patents, industrial designs and trademarks. The fee of 7940 RSD for the filing of a patent with up to ten claims will henceforth be 3970 RSD if filed electronically, dropping by a significant 50%. An additional fee of 780 RSD is payable for the paper filing of additional claims, reducing to 380 RSD if filed online.

The filing fees for electronic trademark and industrial design applications have been reduced by 25%. The filing fee for a trademark in up to three classes has decreased from 15440 RSD plus 3090 for each additional class, to 11940 RSD for three classes and 2,390 RSD for each extra class.

Industrial design fees previously amounted to 6170 RSD per design and 4640 RSD for each subsequent design thereafter. The amended fees now constitute 4770 RSD per design, costing an additional 3585 for further designs if submitted electronically.

As of December 13, 2019, the intellectual property office of Turkmenistan has implemented amended fees in relation to trademarks and introduced expedited examination. Filing will now cost applicants 250 USD for up to 3 classes, with the fee for additional classes constituting 100 USD, a slight rise from the previous fees of 175 USD for filing and 90 USD for additional classes over 3.

The expedited examination route will allow trademark applicants to obtain a decision on the registration of their mark within 45 business days from the filing date and will cost 100 USD. Renewal fees have increased from 435 USD to 500 USD for a 10-year extension, with a further 250 USD payable for the renewal of additional classes.

Entering into effect as of December 16, 2019, Bulgaria has also implemented significant amendments to the IP field. These changes comprise a new law on trademarks and geographical indications, with the view of aligning national legislation with the latest EU directive concerning trademarks.

The new legislation brings about several changes to the previous trademark law, introducing new grounds for refusal and opposition alongside the EU directive. The grounds for refusal include lack of distinctiveness and the registration of a mark which goes against public policy, inclusive of violations of Bulgarian or EU legislation. This is also applicable to registrations not adhering to the protection of geographical indications, such as speciality foods, wines, or plant varieties. Grounds for opposition now include bad faith within the relative grounds for refusal, which must be filed by an individual claiming to be the actual trademark owner.

Finally, the procedure for payment of fees has been altered, now requiring applicants to pay a single registration fee at the commencement of the filing as opposed to the payment of separate fees for filing, examination and registration throughout the process.


Author: Danielle Carvey