The Commission cited in its analysis the legal opinion of DPC.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. Law Firm (DPC) was among the interested parties, whom the Commission for Combating Corruption and Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property (CCCCIAP, the Commission) addressed in connection with its annual subsequent analysis of the impact of legislative acts that have gone through a conciliation procedure.
Our IP experts Bilyana Angelova and Alexandra Lassina, led by Prof. Dr. George Dimitrov, prepared a legal opinion in response to the 15 questions, set by CCCCIAP with a view to preventing the possibility of creating corrupt practices in connection with the Marks and Geographical Indications Act (MGIA), promulgated in the State Gazette, issue 98 of 13 December 2019. The Commission cited in its analysis the legal opinion of DPC, according to which with the adoption of the new Marks and Geographical Indications Act the legal protection of trademarks and geographical indications in force in the country has been brought in line with the requirements of European legislation. The harmonization of our national legislation is of a nature to lead to a faster and standardized system for registration of trademarks and geographical indications, which will be unified, easier and more accessible to use, as well as more modern from a technological point of view.
At the same time, the opinion outlines some weaknesses and gaps in the new regulation, which are of a nature to jeopardize the rights and interests of trademark holders and to lead to significant enforcement problems. Among the imperfections of the regulation are the difficulties related to the application of the provisions of the new MGIA to pending proceedings, the change in the requirements and periods for proving the actual use of trademarks, the lack of detailed regulation of parallel imports in light of exhaustion of trademark rights and others.
The Commission considers our recommendation to impose pecuniary sanctions, which depend on the turnover of the infringing undertaking to be justified, in so far as in many cases the profit for legal persons from the infringement could be significant and it is objectively possible that the envisaged fine does not fulfill its preventive function.
CCCCIAP’s thorough report, detailing DPC’s legal opinion on the application and effect of the MGIA, is accessible here.