Summary of facts:
G.Ltd. (Bulgarian trademark for mattress frames), represented by IP Consulting team, is a proprietor of a registered industrial design N4251, applied on 10.04.2001 and registered on 08.11.2001. The Registration includes three designs of “mattress frames”, as the first two are represented with one color photographic image and the third one with – two.
The proceedings for invalidation of the aforementioned industrial design before the Patent office of Republic of Bulgaria were initiated by A.M.K. Ltd. The plaintiff claims that the identity of the industrial design N4251, which became publicly accessible before the date of submitting the application for registration, determines its lack of novelty and originality, pursuant to Art. 12. (1) and Art. 13. (1) from Law for the Industrial Design.
“The design shall be new if before the date of submitting the application, respectively before the date of priority another identical design is not known to have become accessible through publications, registrations or announcement in any other way wherever in the world”. (LID, Art 12 (1))
“The design shall be considered original if the overall impression it creates for the informed user differs from the overall impression created by a design that has become publicly accessible before the date of submitting he application for registration or when a priority is claimed before the date of priority.” (LID, Art. 13. (1))
The BPO does not accept the request, made by A.M.K. Ltd. to invalidate an already existing industrial design, issued to G.Ltd. for the construction of “mattress frames” and rules in favor of the contested design with decision N26 of 08/02/2016.
On 11.05.2016 A.M.K. Ltd. filed an appeal before the Sofia City Administrative Court against the above mentioned decision. It is important to be stated that the appeal is admissible and filed by an appropriated party with proper legal interest from the litigation. But examined essentially, the appeal is groundless.
The grounds for the appeal of A.M.K. Ltd. are as it follows: infringement of administrative procedure rules, as it is stated that the contested decision is not based on any legal conclusions. The essence of the decision did not explore all details separately and the requirements for a registration of an industrial design (novelty and originality) were not met.
To establish the plaintiffs allegations, an expert opinion was assigned. The ascertainments of the appointed expert, prove that there is no identity between compared relevant designs. The conclusions of the expert’s examination were taken by the court as competently and earnestly prepared.
Sofia City Administrative Court did not uphold the appeal of A.M.K. Ltd and confirmed the BPO’s decision. The administrative court ordered the same company to cover the costs of the other two parties in this case. The decision can be appealed before the Supreme Court of Appeal within 14 days.