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?
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.
This unusual on prima facie and interesting book presents the problems of intellectual property and its protection on the Internet. It examines the issues and offers expert solutions to issues related to copyright, trademarks, domains, and other business identifiers that are used on the web.
The book reviews the legal framework and analyzes the accumulated case law both in Bulgaria and in the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The author of the book – Mr.Atanas Kostov, has the reputation of one of the best specialists in this modern field of law in Bulgaria.
Target Audience: Publishing is necessary and useful for anyone who offers and uses information on the Internet in one way or another. It will be a good consultant and assistant to practitioners, intellectual property representatives, IT specialists, businessmen, artists and creative associations, lecturers and students.
The reason to write the book "Intellectual Property on the Internet" is the fact that intellectual property is the most powerful regulator, and a protective mechanism against the processes that are currently happening on the Internet. You will ask why this is so important? Due to the fact that the full potential of the creative industries is already online and the same goes for the business, which means that in the near future any social, commercial, scientific, artistic or social activity will be mediated by the Internet. Even now, there is no good or service that is not available online, and this business model has been adopted by the electronic media and the show business.
All this leads to a justified interest of the users in this electronic phenomenon, which is related to the easy commodity turnover, quick access to specific works, goods or services, but also to the presumed will to "jump over the legal barriers" due to different motives. In addition to the old theme of internet piracy (which also has new dimensions in the development of legislation), there are already new unscrupulous practices aimed at "abducting" domains or registering such names under other company names or trademarks for resale or another type of commercial effect to the registrant, such as unfair competition and / or attracting additional user traffic. On the other hand, copyright and related licensing agreements have become as "electronic" as it calls for the need for new, credible and adequate legislative solutions to deter unscrupulous practices on the Internet. The strange thing is that the Bulgarian Law on Copyright and Related Rights as well as the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications "delay" to legally regulate the processes that concern intellectual property rights online, neither of which even mentions the word " Internet ", despite the increasingly dynamic e-business in Bulgaria. At the same time, special laws (which are not part of a copyright law or trademark law) specifically regulating legal relationships and infringements of intellectual property rights on the Internet have emerged in many foreign legislation.
This book gives a vision of some of the major topics and issues in the described context by trying to comment and at the same time propose solutions to address the issues of copyright, trademarks, domains and other business identifiers that are used in network. I hope this statement assures the reader how important it is in today's time to know the intellectual property legal tools that serve to prevent online business models as well as those relating to copyrights based on the Internet. The relevance of the subject is related to purely pragmatic and commercial motives regarding the proper structuring and protection of online entrepreneurship. The book gives many examples of national and international case law on case studies that deal with the exact subject of intellectual property rights in the web, in order to make these legal processes more accessible. My aim in the commented topic is to make it as accessible as possible not only to lawyers, but to the business community as well as to the representatives of the creative industries, without having to propose ready solutions, but with the option of giving a reflection on how to deal with analogous case studies.
By the author: Mr.Atanas Kostov – attorney at law
The book "Intellectual Property on the Internet" you can order directlyhere.
For the 11th consecutive year the Bulgarian magazine "Legal World" organized the competition "Lawyer of the Year". Traditionally, the award ceremony is attended by prominent magistrates, constitutional judges, members of the SJC and its Inspectorate, lawyers and other legal professions, non-governmental human rights organizations, lawmakers, and representatives of the central media.
The "Lawyer of the Year" Awards is a benchmark for quality in law. Over the years, magistrates and lawyers have been awarded the "Lawyer of the Year Award" in various categories, with a major contribution to the legal sphere. This year, "IUSAUTHOR" intellectual property law office is nominated as "the law firm of the year in Bulgaria" for the past 2018. The award ceremony was on May 8, 2019. from 19.00h. in Sofia, Grand Hotel Sofia.
Today in the National Palace of Culture in Sofiq, Bulgaria, meeting hall 8, has been held the international conference „The Industrial Property Today and Tomorrow“, under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, organized in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization /WIPO/ and the European Patent Office /EPO/. Welcome and opening remarks delivered Mr .Valeri Simeonov, Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria, in charge of the economic and demographic policy, Vice Minister of Economy Mr. Lachezar Borisov, Mr. Petko Nikolov, Phd, President of the Bulgarian Patent Office, Mr. Francis Gurry, PhD, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization /WIPO/, Mr. Benoit Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office /EPO/, Mr. Christian Archambeau, Deputy Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office /EUIPO/. The President of the Bulgarian Patent Office Mr. Petko Nikolov opened the conference and thanked all participants for coming to Bulgaria and attending the forum: „We are fully aware of the responsibility, which the Presidency and this respected forum present for us as hosts and I really hope that we will justify your expectations”. In his speech Mr. Simeonov mentioned that the quality and potential of a given economy depend on development of the scientific and technologic database of the country, as well as on its entrepreneurship. Vice Minister Borisov shared that the industrial property is of key importance for building of the present society and for creating new, highly qualitative goods and services. Mr. Gurry noted that Bulgaria had made great progress in the field of intellectual property in the past 20 years. The global innovation landscape had changed with Asian countries playing a more prominent role, notably China, which has been driving a significant growth in patent applications. Mr. Battistelli – The innovation sector in Europe is continuing to grow. More applications were filed by European inventors than ever before. EPO has been able to deliver more patents while continuing to increase the quality of its patents and services and careful control of costs allowed EPO to reduce some fees from 1 April”. Mr. Archambeau from EUIPO stressed on the economic importance of the application of the IP Rights; ‘’Today IP rights are everywhere and strongly impact the economic growth. Nowadays is going the 3rd industrial revolution in which the artificial intelligence plays the major role” Guests of today’s conference are presidents and representatives of patent offices from 25 European countries. Divided in to plenary sessions, it presents the most recent cases and developments within the patent system and the EU system for protection of the trade mark.
The site www.inventerhub.com is a new and modern electronic tool that focuses on the marketing and presentation of already existing intellectual property objects. The site is focused on the licensing and sale of trademarks, industrial designs, patents and artworks. At this site you can register your copyright as well and to provide your artwork for licensing, you can search for a producer or investor in your artistic project. At www.inveterhub.com every one can sell also his domain, as well to start arbitration proceedings between trademark and domain name before WIPO.
The European Patent Office (EPO) reveals the fifteen inventors short-listed for this prestigious innovation prize: their work has improved our everyday lives and created economic prosperity
Nominated inventors come from a range of countries and technical fields, from green plastics and oil-spill clean-up, to pharmaceuticals, medical imaging and satellite navigation
Award ceremony will be held on 15 June 2017 in Venice
Five of the six prizes will be decided by an international jury. Popular Prize winner to be selected by the general public via online voting
EPO President Battistelli: "The outstanding inventors nominated for this year's European Inventor Award allow us to honour the men and women who contribute to improving our daily lives. They are among the leading minds of science and research and show that Europe continues to be a world leader in innovation.”
Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and the Council amending the Community trade mark regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Amending Regulation will enter into force on 23 March 2016. From that day, the Office will be called the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Community trade mark will be called the European Union trade mark.
The Amending Regulation was published on 24 December 2015 and is part of the EU trade mark reform legislative package that also includes the replacement of the existing EU Trade Mark Directive (Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council). On this page you will find: information on the Regulation; links to the texts in 23 languages; latest news; and frequently asked questions.
The General Court of the European Union has rejected a Community Trade Mark application made by The Coca-Cola Company for the shape of its contour bottle without fluting:
Coca-Cola filed an EU-wide trade mark application for the above three-dimensional sign in relation to a range of goods including "metallic, glass and plastic bottles" in December 2011. In March 2014, the OHIM rejected the application for registration on the ground that the mark sought lacked the necessary distinctive character in respect of the goods covered by the application. The OHIM rejected out of hand the argument made by Coca-Cola that the mark was a natural evolution of its iconic contour bottle with fluting:
Coca-Cola appealed the decision of the OHIM and sought an order from the General Court for the annulment of the original decision. The General Court has dismissed Coca-Cola's action in its entirety. The Court has confirmed that the bottle does not possess any characteristics that distinguish it from other bottles on the market. The mark sought to be registered is merely a variation of the shape of a bottle which is not capable of distinguishing the goods of Coca-Cola from others. Consequently, the mark for which registration was sought is devoid of the distinctive character and Coca-Cola failed to establish that the sign had acquired distinctive character through use.
In the absence of evidence that the bottle for which registration was sought is unique to Coca-Cola, either inherently or as a result of the use that has been made of it, the decision of the General Court seems the right one. To grant a trade mark in these circumstances, would give a perpetual monopoly to a company in the shape of a bottle that is either commonplace or, at least, very close to the bottles of others. Such a monopoly would be an abuse of the trade mark registration system in the European Union. It remains to be seen whether Coca-Cola appeal the decision of the General Court to the Court of Justice of the European Union.