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A Bulgarian woman has applied for a trademark similar to Hell's kitchen!


An interesting fact from reality is that on 15.02.2024 Mrs. Natalia Kartalova applied to the Bulgarian Patent Office for the national figurative mark "NASHA KUHNYA" with entry No. 2024172522 in three classes according to the Nice classification, one of which is also class 43: restaurant activity.

The figurative element of the mark in question is similar to a high degree to the European, well-known trademark HELL'S KITCHEN, which is the intellectual property of the English production company "ITV Studios Limited", realizing the famous television show under this brand worldwide, on the basis of a franchise marketing policy.

MAS introduces new crypto regulations, including digital asset custody.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has introduced cryptocurrency-related amendments to the Payment Services Act, focusing on digital payment token (DPT) service providers. Alongside this, it has published guidelines for digital asset custody.

The Act has been expanded to regulate three types of additional services:

  • Digital asset custody
  • Payments or transfers involving tokens, even if the service provider does take possession of the DPTs
  • Cross-border payments, regardless of whether the funds are within Singapore.

The announcement includes transitional arrangements for existing providers who need to become licensed. These providers must notify MAS within 30 days.

MAS also provided detailed guidelines concerning digital asset custody following a consultation and an outline of the pending rules last November.

France’s AMF issues warning against BITGET for unauthorized digital asset services.


The French Financial Markets Authority, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), warned against BITGET, citing unauthorized digital asset services. The AMF regularly updates its black lists of new websites and entities “proposing typical investments to investors in France without being authorized.” 

According to the regulator, blockchain exchange Bitget has been offering investment products without being authorized to provide such crypto services. To protect investors from potentially fraudulent investments, AMF and the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR) added Bitget to the updated list of unauthorized investment providers to be blacklisted.

The monetary and financial code in France requires mandatory registration as a digital asset service provider (PSAN) for specific activities related to digital assets, such as custody services, buying or selling digital crypto assets, and operating digital asset trading platforms. This registration ensures compliance with regulations aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as ensuring the integrity and competency of management and shareholders, thereby protecting the interests of investors.


Interview by Mr. Atanas Kostov on the realities of Bulgarian intellectual property.



1.Dear Mr. Kostov, could you introduce to our readers the law firm "IUSAUTHOR" - after all, it is one of the leading law offices in Bulgaria in the field of intellectual property protection? 

With pleasure. The law firm “IUSAUTHOR” was established in 2004, and to this day, almost 20 years later, it deals exclusively with intellectual property. I always say that our law firm is small, kind of boutique. It has, for example, created and trained several PhDs in law, and we have had many interesting cases over the years - we won an opposition case against Facebook, who opposed a trademark of a Bulgarian applicant that still exists today. Recently we settled the Chudomir(one of the most famous Bulgarian righters) copyright case, with a record compensation award for copyright claims in Bulgaria - 34,000 BGN, and last month we achieved a new record in this respect - 68,000 BGN compensation for copyright infringement, with the claim concerning unauthorised use of audio-visual content filmed in Bulgaria by Austrian producers.

What I am most proud of is that the website of "IUSAUTHOR" has turned into an open, completely free online library for content (articles, news) that concerns entirely intellectual property. Some of the material has been read over 50 000 times. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that in 2022 we were nominated and received an award for Law Firm of the Year in Bulgaria. At the moment, the firm employs 5 people, including 4 lawyers and one technical assistant. One of my colleagues, who deals entirely with Internet law and blockchain technologies, is a French colleague, a lawyer - Martin Groan, who graduated in law at the Sorbonne. We have been friends for many years and I finally managed to convince him to start working for us, as he has been living and working in Bulgaria for 14 years.


2.What do you think are the most significant changes in the intellectual property system that should be made nationally

In recent years, several key directives and regulations have been implemented in Bulgarian legislation, which still cannot be understood by the Bulgarian court as law enforcement. What do I mean?

As you know, Directive 2004/48/EC (the so-called IPRED Directive) was implemented into Bulgarian law as early as 2006. To date, its Article 13, which is enshrined in a total of 6 special tort actions in Bulgarian intellectual property law (two each in the Bulgarian Copyright act, the The Industrial design act and Trademark and geographical indications act) has not been properly applied, as the principle of royalties as the basis for possible compensation is totally incomprehensible to Bulgarian judges and they enforce their decisions through the mechanism of Article 45 by the Law on Obligations and Contracts, which is a complete legal mistake, leading to failure to prove the amount of the claim, unlawful reduction of its amount and in many cases to losing the case due to ignorance of this mechanism.

 The CJEU in its reference for a preliminary ruling in case C-367/15, Stowarzyszenie "Oławska Telewizja Kablowa" v. Stowarzyszenie Filmow- ców Polskich, says that the royalty that the injured party would have received should be multiplied by two, and in some cases by three, in order to achieve the principle of general prevention in intellectual property law, i.e. to punish someone with the logical civil sanction that is sufficiently fair and has a deterrent and educational character.

I will give an example to make myself understood. If a tort claim is brought under Article 95a of the Bulgarian Copyright act for 10,000BGN in pecuniary damages and an expert in the case has determined that the eventual royalty that the author should receive is 3,000BGN, the Bulgarian court did not multiply this amount by three (as the CJEU says is correct in order to comply with the mechanism of Article 13 of the IPRED Directive), but divided by three, awarding costs to the losing party for the rejected part of the claim - an unlawful argument of Article 78(3) of the Bulgarian Code of Civil Procedure(CCP).

Here we come to the next legal paradox in Bulgarian intellectual property law, which the Bulgarian court imposes as surreal illegality. It turns out that the winning party very often actually loses the case because the court awards the losing defendant costs that are proportionate to the rejected part of the claim, which in most cases are higher than the damages awarded, because the Bulgarian court does not apply Article 13 of the IPRED directive. Moreover, the Bulgarian court has not even read Article 14 of the same Directive 2004/48/EC, which states that the losing party is not entitled to costs and must bear the costs and fees of the injured party, i.e. this special rule derogates from the general rule of Article 78(3) of the CCP! But who to read! It is difficult!

The last time I explained this to the judges at the Sofia Court of Appeals, they told me that "because I graduated abroad" (I graduated from Plovdiv University, according to my information), maybe I don't interpret correctly the CCP and that's why I talk to them so much about Directives. I had to explain that it is high time Bulgarian judges to accept law mostly as a science and read it carefully, because Directive 2004/48/EC is a fact in Bulgarian jurisdiction since 2005 and ignorance of this fact, and not applying its Article 13 and Article 14 correctly leads to brutal legal absurdities in Bulgarian law practice of the type "to win a case, but actually lose it" and all this to be "legal"!


3.Why are you so harsh in your statement towards the Bulgarian judiciary, please explain?

I just dream of objectivity, respect and law enforcement on a scientific level, nothing more. I need to give one more example on the topic. Years ago I wrote an article about software patents. You know that they were originally unpatentable, but an English judge reversed the case law on the subject not only in England, but all over the world. How does that happen?

The English magistrate in question was an examiner at the UK Patent Office before he started his career as a judge, and from there he knew in detail the technical features of patents as a legal framework and issues. In his panel as a judge a case arose about bronze casting in a blast furnace, which process was monitored by computer. What happens? The bronze is cast at exactly 1000 degrees temperature. If that temperature drops, the blast furnace bursts and dozens of workers in the foundry die. Recognizing this fact, the English judge decided that since the software provided the technical function of casting the bronze at the exact temperature, the patent for this process was patentable, as opposed to the prior practice that "software inventions have no technical function," hence "are not patentable." 

I have made the case study. "The Bear" turned out to be one of the most famous trademarks in the USA. I wrote an opinion at my client's request and sent it to the New York court online. The court accepted it and considered it, along with the other evidence in the case, without me being a lawyer with legal capacity in the US. But that didn't change things. My client had infringed a trademark that was common knowledge in the US and the $110,000 trademark infringement claim was upheld. I'll say it again - $110,000 for a carpet. You may already suspect that I'm going to say that's not going to happen here in Bulgaria anytime soon, because it doesn't hold up to having innovative businesses here, nor does it read anything other than "bankruptcy", even though the most innovative, multi-billion dollar businesses are behind some domains. On that base the Bulgarian judges ruled that the domains are "not a commercial activity" and therefore "could not be trademarked"! This is a 21st century decision of the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation! 

To conclude with the absurd examples of Bulgarian law enforcement, I will say that for nearly 7-8 years the Commission for Protection of Competition, Sofia Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court have been amicably accepting "as legally correct" that unfair competition is not part of industrial property, and this nonsense, which is unprecedented in its size, was initially put into use by the "great legal advisers" of the Commission for Protection of Competition, and it has post facto become a leitmotif of the Sofia Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court in cases concerning Article 35, paragraph 1, paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 of the Unfair competition act, i.e. imitation of designs, trademarks and domains, obviously all objects of industrial property! 

I have been explaining for several years in all these cases to the Commission for Protection of Competition, Sofia Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court that law is still (in my impression at least) a science, and this science says that there is a Paris Convention on Industrial Property. This Convention was ratified in Bulgaria by Decree No. 633 of the Presidium of the National Assembly of 2.09.1965 - State Gazette No. 75 of 24.09.1965. 75 of 24.09.1965. So, it is a scientific fact since 1965 that Article 10bis of the Paris Convention on Industrial Property says that unfair competition is part of industrial property, considering in detail all its objects subject to imitation, as this identically was done in the hypothesis of Article 35, paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 of the Unfair competition act, without the hypothesis of paragraph 3, because in the 1950s domains did not yet exist.

In this context, I find what has been said to be a scientific fact and I hope that in the near future the Commission for Protection of Competition, Sofia Administrative Court and Supreme Administrative Court will read the Paris Convention on Industrial Property and stop putting us lawyers, who view intellectual property as science, in the unpleasant situation of claiming, that "unfair competition and industrial property have nothing in common" by reading mildly unlawful decisions on the subject, which on top of that continue to be cited with great pride as "constant practice" by the "great legal advisors" of the Commission for Protection of Competition, in these very same cases! 

In conclusion, I would say that the legal framework in Bulgaria at the moment is absolutely adequate to the European and international one, as long as someone reads it and looks into it's details professionally. I cannot hide my soul and say that there are also such magistrates whose professionalism I bow to. Recently, one of the judges at the CJEU awarded damages in a copyright case in the amount of 60 000 leva after I provided her with the above-mentioned case law of the CJEU and the lady magistrate in question correctly looked into the matter. I am aware that it is impossible for Bulgarian judges to be physically familiar with every area of law in detail, and perhaps in this context it would not be a bad idea to make it the practice of the court to provide materials from doctrine and case law for information, without this being seen as "training the court", but rather as assisting it to obtain adequate, detailed information.

It is also high time to amend the Trademark and geographical indications act and to introduce a text concerning the arbitration of disputes between trademarks and domains, which in my opinion should be carried out by the most prestigious arbitration court in Bulgaria - the one at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and these disputes should be appealed again before the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation, according to the logic of Article 47 of the International Commercial Arbitration Act. This will hopefully also lead to the closure of the illegal arbitration at the Bulgarian firm "Register. bg" Ltd., which has been "arbitrating" on the subject for years and despite repeated rulings of the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation that this is not arbitration court at all and its decisions have the status of “legal nothing”. Despite all this commented strange structure of "Register. bg" Ltd. still "legally" takes away domains of Bulgarian citizens and legal entities, unknown on what legal basis, as no institution in Bulgaria has taken it upon itself so far to sanction the company in question and close this - let say it with a dose of irony - "legal arbitration"!



"IUSAUTHOR is the law firm of the year in Bulgaria for 2021.


On December 3, 2021 (Friday) at an official ceremony in the Hotel "Marinella", Sofia, were held the National Justice Awards, which are organized by the "Balkan Media Association", with the support and assistance of the International Bar Association, the Bar Associations throughout the country, the Chamber of Notaries, the Bulgarian Judges Association, the Professional Association of Mediators, the Association of Women Lawyers, the Association of Insolvency Practitioners in Bulgaria.

The awards in the various nominations - Lawyer of the Year, Law Firm of the Year, Judge of the Year, Prosecutor of the Year, etc., are voted by journalists from the justice sector who attend the ceremony, as well as by a professional jury, which this year was composed of professors Ognian Gerdzhikov and Atanas Semov, EU General Court Judge Mariana Kancheva and lawyer Vladimir Donchev.

The hottest blockchain startups in Bulgaria.


Bulgaria and local dev community haven’t been too vocal about this, but it seems that the country has an important stake in the global blockchain ecosystem. With a growing community around the technology (not the fading crypto enthusiasm), the global acceleration program of platform Aeternity for blockchain startups and the investment company Belayer based in Sofia, a Balkan Blockchain Association seem to be well positioned on the map.

Currently, there are around 30 companies in Bulgaria, both service and product-oriented ones, which leverage blockchain technology in an attempt to develop viable products that serve real business needs. “The majority of blockchain companies right now are part of the transition from a centralized to a decentralized economy. A lot of them are still using decentralized components to solve problems but still have a centralized point of strategic decision-making. The most interesting projects are the ones that change the whole paradigm and really manage to confirm the viability and sustainability of decentralized models of governance and operation. This will not happen overnight.”, Vladislav Dramaliev from aetertnity, told us.  Currently, there are around 30 companies in Bulgaria, both service and product, which leverage the blockchain tech in one way or another, in attempt to develop viable products that serve real business needs.

Here’s the list of the scalable product projects that might have found a way to utilize the technology to solve problems, instead of finding the problem for the blockchain solution. We’ve mostly looked at products beyond the crypto bubble. You can find below what is each of them doing.

The patent attorney Mr.Atanas Kostov - Coronavirus vaccine is patented.


In an interview on bTV, Mr. Atanas Kostov as a patent attorney said that researches and patents on coronavirus date back to 2003. There are quite different types of coronaviruses and scientists around the world have been working on the subject for quite some time. "I began to investigate for personal interest whether there were patents in the field," said Mr.Kostov.

 "I came across one of the latest patents, which is from 2014. The research team working on it is English, and behind it is an English university". Mr.  Atanas Kostov explain on BTV this Sunday, that English scientists work on patent, who covers the coronavirus to protein 16. The modern coronavirus is a three-protein mutation on top, which is not what the patented vaccine was patented for" he said. 

"The vaccine I'm talking about is a specific coronavirus that is related to the treatment of bronchitis. Currently, the complications affect the respiratory system and the deaths end with pneumonia. Perhaps that is where scientists' efforts should be directed " Mr.Atanas Kostov said. According to him, it is obvious that the British scientists are making progress on the subject and most likely there will be a positive result. 

In some articles, British scientists pretending that they are on the verge of finding a treatment solution for the modern coronavirus and a vaccine for it.


The book "Copyright in Architecture" - authors Mr.Atanas Kostov  - copyright attorney and Mr.Jordan Pangev - attorney at law.


The Copyright and Related Rights Act addresses the most important issues concerning the rights of design architects. The enforcement of these legal norms has accumulated many inconsistencies and disputes that cause problems in the actual protection of copyright holders of architectural projects and works of architecture, and create ambiguities in the relationship between investors and authors - architects and civil engineers. And this circumstance does not correspond to the prevailing logic in Bulgarian copyright law.

The book offers an in-depth comparative legal analysis between Bulgarian law, the European and Anglo-Saxon legal systems. On this basis, the problems are defined and solutions are formulated both for action under the existing legal framework and for its correction. Model contracts have been developed that reflect models for resolving contractual relationships between authors of architectural works and their users. Thus, the publication will help to unify the practice and take appropriate legal action on the settlement of architectural rights - adequate to the current legal framework in Bulgaria.

Mr.Atanas Kostov - lawyer, one of the leading copyright specialists in Bulgaria
Mr.Yordan Pangev - lawyer, intellectual property expert



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? 



Mr.Atanas Kostov - trademark attorney in Bulgaria. The book "Opposition of the trademark"".


The book "Opposition of the trademark" reviews the new procedure for refusal of registration on relative grounds, which came into force with the latest amendments to the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications (LPMO) of 10.03.2011. Writing the book aims to make it useful to a wide range of lawyers, patent attorneys, industrial property representatives, commercial subjects, students, and citizens to give more clarity about the opportunities for opposition that the opposition offers. Most of the material in the book is a synthesis of theory and practice, primarily of OHIM and of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, mainly due to a lack of national practice for the time being, this approach being chosen to shed light on the specifics of the procedure not only on a national but also on a European scale. I believe that the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, as set out in detail, with clearly defined legal criteria relating to the opposition, would be directly applicable in practice and law enforcement in Bulgaria, not only because of their priority importance for Bulgarian legislation, but above all in relation to the competent legal opinions they actually offer.

For the reasons given, the introduction of the opposition procedure, in my opinion, is the result of a positive legislative initiative of the Bulgarian Patent Office. However, the opposition puts forward a number of theoretical and practical issues that will still be looking for its right solution. Dynamically evolving market realities and related legislative processes on a national and European scale have called for modern mechanisms to identify real-life traders in a particular business area, including intellectual property, in particular trademarks. I say this for several reasons. Firstly, because some of the registered trademarks in Bulgaria do not have any real commercial interests, they are registrated for themselves (in most cases for commercial purposes) and should be dropped as unusable for the reasons mentioned. Second, many unscrupulous practices are being monitored, which must be pirated at the trademark registration phase - a claim by the proprietor of the trademark owner, or a misappropriation of trade marks already entered but unregistered. Thirdly, competitive relations require continuous control efforts by applying appropriate legal measures to potential competitors - for example restricting the application of similar trademarks for identical or similar goods and services. Last but not least, the procedure in the Patent Office itself will be optimized by avoiding the subjective factor in the process of expertise, as until now the similarity as a relative ground for trademark denial was followed by a specific expert at the Patent Office, which was the case file of the respective trademark was distributed and this decision depended on his subjective opinion. Thus, marketers will be self-regulators of their own rights with respect to their registered and correspondingly trademarked trademarks, thus giving preference to a more practical and at the same time democratic approach to marketers. All this will, in my opinion, lead to a more efficient work of the Patent Office itself, which will significantly optimize its administrative potential.