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Copyright protection in Bulgaria

  • “Copyright Hypothesis" - book by Mr.Atanas Kostov



    Mr.Atanas Kostov - copyright attorney in Bulgaria. The book “Copyright Hypothesis".


    The book “Copyright Hypothesis" is the fruit of my synthesized ten-year experience as an intellectual property lawyer. The writing of every material in it is inspired by my work on a specific case, commenting on the legal basis and relevant case law. It is important to note that the purpose of writing the book is to be practical rather than to claim theoretical exhaustiveness. So I have selected and focused on this part of the texts of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, which are robbing, interesting and directly affecting the creative industries in Bulgaria. The bulk of the material in the book is a synthesis of theory and practice in the form of court decisions, which is systematically located for convenience at the end of each exhibition. How much current case law is adequate, internally uncontroversial and compliant with the legal framework, I have left to judge the reader myself, as the conclusions are obvious.

     I think that for this reason, the writing here will be useful not only for legal practitioners, but especially for the authors themselves - artists in the broad sense of the word, as well as architects, photographers, artists, designers, computer specialists and other professions, related to culture and science. Long contact with copyright issues of creative people has made me realize that they still do not have the courage, determination and legal culture to assert their rights to creators adequately. The reasons for this are of a different nature. Firstly, perhaps Bulgarian education does not offer these specialists the necessary knowledge and useful experience in the field of copyright and artistic management, which is particularly important in the context of a market society. Hence the lack of knowledge of the authors about the ways to protect their intellectual work, as well as the motivation to consult and seek specialized legal assistance in this field. Naturally, the well-developed jurisprudence of the courts and the prosecutor's office and, in my opinion, the little fuzzy criterion on the procedure and practical means of engaging and activating the administrative responsibility for copyright violations, a priority of the Ministry of culture. All this leads to a lack of trust in our society as to whether the protection of copyright in Bulgaria is real and working. Increasingly, in the public domain, there are data about successful measures in the field of copyright, but they concern mainly copyright and related rights of foreign authors and companies. The big question is is there a real protection for the rights of Bulgarian authors and what part of the case law shows a positive trend in this direction? 


    Copyright protection in Bulgaria. Copyright attorney in Bulgaria.


    IUSAUTHOR is among the few law firms specialising in the area of protection of copyright. Our services cover copyright counselling and database rights, development of IP strategy, negotiation and drafting of copyright license agreements and other copyright-related agreements, as well as legal representation before courts with regard to copyright infringement and other copyright-related disputes. 

    The founding partner of IUSAUTHOR, Mr Atanas Kostov, attorney-at-law, has been specialising in copyright and IP law for more than 20years now. He has a profound knowledge of the national and international legal framework and case law applicable to copyright and IP law. As a leading copyright expert in Bulgaria he has been invited to take part in the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property at the Ministry of Culture, as well as in the Working Group at the Legislative Committee with regard to the latest amendments of the Copyright Act. Mr Kostov is an author of several books on copyright and IP law and more than 80 articles in that area. He is often invited to speak at seminars and give lectures on various copyright issues.

    Mr Kostov’s clientele consists of both corporate clients and authors who seek counselling on matters concerning the copyright industries. Mr Kostov has developed extensive experience as a counsel in copyright disputes. He has represented clients in almost all of the few copyright disputes brought before the Bulgarian courts. Currently Mr Kostov is specialising in regulation of digital copyright and regulation of digital culture, in particular regulation of online media (e.g. radio, newspapers, sport websites, TV, etc.) and online-based businesses, such as presentation and commercial websites, online libraries, etc.. He consults companies with leading market share in those industries on various matters concerning copyright infringement and regulation of digital copyright.


    For the past couple of years Mr Kostov has been working in close collaboration with the U.S. Copyright Office with regard to registering original works of authorship in the USA. This copyright registration regime covers all 165 member states to the Berne Convention, including Bulgaria and most of the EU member states, as the original works of authorship are also registered in the US Library of Congress. In contrast to the European copyright regime according to which the copyright arises automatically at the time of the creation of the work and its materialisation in a way that allows the idea to be communicated to others, hence there is no need for registering the copyright, the American regime requires registration of copyright. U.S. Copyright Office carries out the registration of copyright by means of a specific administrative registration procedure.

    IUSAUTHOR’s services cover this type of copyright protection. The latter is a useful means of establishing the author’s copyright worldwide given the number of states members to the Berne Convention. In Bulgaria most of the authors that opt for this type of copyright protection are authors of software, literary works, works of visual arts (e.g. design) and architecture.

  • Iusauthor law office. Intellectual property law office in Bulgaria.


    Intellectual property law office in Bulgaria. 


    IUSAUTHOR is a leading law firm specializing in intellectual property protection and development. IUSAUTHOR was nominated for a Legal Office of the Year in Bulgaria for 2108 by the "Legal World" magazine. Since its establishment in 2004, IUSAUTHOR specializes in protection of intellectual property rights, trademarks, industrial designs, patents, Internet law, domain names and other online business identifications, as well as in the area of unfair competition, development of brand strategies, trade mark portfolio management and know how. Our clients value us for our loyalty, commercial awareness and in-depth knowledge of local, European, and international law. We are especially well regarded for our full commitment to each case and for the outstanding representation of our clients. We provide fully integrated IP services in wide range of industries. Our winning strategy is rigorous selection of the best legal approach to the matter at hand and giving our clients the competitive edge to increase the value of their businesses. 

    Our legal services cover all stages of the IP life cycle: we provide national and international consultations and counselling, dispute resolution advice and representation in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. IUSAUTHOR’s national legal services comprise of consultations and counselling regarding the registration and protection against infringement of intellectual property objects in Bulgaria, namely intellectual property rights, trademarks, patents, industrial designs, utility models, geographical indications, copyright and trade secrets. We also provide representation before the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) by a qualified industrial property representative. Our lawyers are also qualified to represent clients in wide range of intellectual property disputes before the competent national courts.

    Many of IUSAUTHOR’s cases concern wide range of issues related to unfair competition and legal representation before the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court. With that regard we have developed extensive experience dealing with disputes concerning Article 35 of the Law on Protection of Competition. Our expertise also covers counselling and legal representation in disputes related to unfair competition in much more general terms, such as: public procurement appeals, concentrations between undertakings, cartels and anti-competitive agreements, etc.   

    IUSAUTHOR is dedicated to giving our clients the competitive edge and, as such, we focus on counselling and protection of online art and businesses, which operate online. Some of our clients are leading computer, software, start-up and online-based companies, as well as IT specialists in Bulgaria. We also represent clients in disputes related to online legal relations between individuals and entities, website terms and conditions, protecting content on the internet, fishing, registering domain names as trademarks, online bank transactions, resolution of disputes between trademark holders and registrants of domain names, etc. For many years now IUSAUTHOR is also the leading law firm in Bulgaria providing consultations concerning cases related to ‘free software’ working under Linux and GPL licences of the Free Software Foundation, Europe. 

    The international services provided by IUSAUTHOR cover:

    • Registration of Community trademarks and Community designs in the European Union Intellectual property office(EUIPO), Alicante, Spain;
    • Registration of Community patent in the European Patent Office (EPO), Munich, Germany;
    • Registration of international trademarks, industrial designs and patents under the Madrid System (the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol), respectively under the Hague System (the Hague Agreement and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT);
    • Registration of copyrights in the U.S. Copyright Office, as the scope of this protection cover all states parties to the Berne Convention; and
    • Representation before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland.


    IUSAUTHOR also provides legal representation in proceedings before EUIPO, EPO, WIPO and the European Court of Justice.