Bulgaria

While most of Europe has been working on transposing the latest EU Trademark Directive (2015/2436) into national law, Bulgaria has not yet fully complied, despite its deadline of 14 January 2019. As a result, the EU Commission may start to take action against Bulgaria. On the tech and accessibility side of things, the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) is staying ahead of the curve this year by bolstering its digital offering. Since 23 January 2019 the texts of decisions on oppositions and refusals of trademark applications issued in 2017 and 2018 have been made available via the trademark search tool.

Firms

  • Bojinov & Bojinov Ltd Patent Trademark & Law Offices
  • Boyanov & Co
  • Pavlov & Co
  • Arsis Consulting
  • Dimitrov, Petrov & Co
  • Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov
  • Kambourov & Partners, Attorneys at Law
  • Manev&Partners
  • PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

Arsis Consulting

Often providing training and seminars for Bulgarian customs officers and advising on border control measures, Arsis Consulting is highly proactive in the fight against fakes. This team is “diligent, hard-working and handles a significant volume of anti-counterfeiting work”. Leading by example is Managing Partner Velizar Sokolov, a respected authority on IP enforcement. Sokolov is a sharp tactician with an eye on commercially relevant solutions. His colleague Biliana Magardichian is “a true professional and has a way of making complex legal jargon seem simple. She is a highly proficient practitioner who can always be relied on to do a great job”.

Bojinov & Bojinov Ltd Patent Trademark & Law Offices

An “eminent boutique that stands out for the depth of its specialisation in trademarks and excellent team”, venerable firm Bojinov & Bojinov is one of the longest-standing and best-known firms in Bulgaria. Pulling the strings is Managing Partner Fani Bojinova, a litigation maestro who is at home handling the most complex disputes. With more than 15 years’ contentious experience, Bojinova is someone you want in your corner when the stakes are high. Much deserving of her WTR 1000 debut this year, Elena Miller is enthusiastically endorsed as a “thorough and experienced enforcement specialist”.

Boyanov & Co

Boyanov & Co offers a comprehensive suite of IP services but shines brightest when it comes to protecting and enforcing rights in the digital arena. Being a full-service firm, the team has several commercial and technology specialists in its ranks to mix and match with its IP specialists, enabling it to address its clients’ legal issues and their wider business concerns holistically. A recent reshuffling of the pack has elevated IP litigator and counsellor Stela Sabeva to the position of principal associate and head of the IP department. She is flourishing in the role, utilising her “sharp analytical mind” and “careful listening skills” to protect clients come what may. Recent work highlights include successfully defending the Coca-Cola Company in an infringement dispute with a Bulgarian company imitating the SCHWEPPES mark. Handling this long and complicated case with her was Kina Chuturkova who, as a former judge, possesses unique insights into courtroom combat. Boyanov & Co has a lot of momentum right now thanks to excellent results and the progress of its up-and-coming practitioners. Also recently promoted, Marina Mollova is a senior associate with outstanding sector knowledge encompassing consumer goods, life sciences and media and entertainment. Alongside Sabeva she serves as local trademark portfolio manager for GlaxoSmithKline among other blue-chip clients.

Dimitrov, Petrov & Co

For trademark prosecution and domain name expertise in Bulgaria, Dimitrov, Petrov & Co is a discerning choice. This versatile group manages an incredibly diverse client roster – ranging from international corporates to leaders of domestic industry – and garners a stellar reputation for its precise and strategic management of portfolios. The ensemble also occupies a good groove on the contentious side, handling tens of oppositions and court disputes annually. Newly minted Partner Bilyana Angelova heads up the IP practice and comes in for enthusiastic praise from the market: “Dynamic, efficient and attentive, Bilyana delivers consistently excellent work and service.” Angelova recently assisted leading agriculture online social network AgriGate Media in a dispute against one of Bulgaria’s largest publishing houses, demonstrating decisive negotiation skills to settle the matter.

Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov

Top business law firm DGKV is serious about intellectual property and runs a highly trained and specialised two-partner, five-attorney, one-paralegal team that manages more than 6,000 trademarks for a diverse client list. Excellence not just in prosecution but also in enforcement and IP transactions distinguishes the set as superbly well rounded and a go-to firm for one-stop shoppers. Captaining the side is Kalina Tchakarova, an astute commercial strategist who offers an attentive and wide-ranging service to her clients, including Karelia Tobacco Company, Carlsberg Breweries and Wizz Air. For the latter, she has been showcasing her non-traditional trademarks expertise advising the company on the protection of colour trademarks. “Responsive and communicative, Kalina and her team – including Senior Associate Dessislava Iordanova – do an excellent job and always deliver satisfying results.”

Kambourov & Partners, Attorneys at Law

Kambourov & Partners’ sphere of influence in intellectual property is growing as it extends its trademark practice into a more diverse range of industries, including fintech, the Internet of Things, e-commerce and AI. The firm’s IP team – which assists clients in Bulgarian, English, French, Italian and Russian – sees around corners and excels at guiding clients on strategy with near-field and long-term business objectives in mind. It also brings the heat in enforcement and infringement scenarios and has recently scored impressive results in opposition and infringement cases for confectionery company Roshen, major packaged food manufacturer Mlin-97 and holding company Maxinvest Holding. “One of the best in IP law, Margarita Guigova possesses an in-depth knowledge, vast expertise and years of experience. Considering the commercial needs of each client, Guigova provides clear, precise and spot-on advice. She demonstrates flawless negotiation skills and is highly responsive; the quality of her advice is never compromised, even when deadlines are extremely tight.”

Manev&Partners

Manev&Partners lives and breathes intellectual property and has practised at the cutting edge of trademark developments in Bulgaria since establishing in 1993. Active domestically and internationally and well connected with different trademark offices, authorities and foreign associates, the firm covers all the bases for dynamic companies looking to protect, enforce and monetise their rights. Managing Partner Kostadin Manev is hailed as “an outstanding lawyer and extremely popular and respected figure in the Bulgarian market”. With Manev having previously served as president of the BPO and Aleksandra Semerdzhieva having been chief legal adviser there, Manev & Partners boasts a rich knowledge of how the office functions and how to get trademarks on the register.

Pavlov & Co

A vital ally to innovative companies throughout all phases of the IP lifecycle, Pavlov & Co is appreciated for its precision and efficiency in administrative trademark tasks and its strategic perspicacity in more complex matters, including brand development and enforcement. A legend of the Bulgarian scene, Managing Partner Vasil Pavlov “is an extremely intelligent practitioner with vast courtroom experience who always gives everything for his clients”. He has contributed significantly to the advancement of industry best practice and IP law itself, which lends gravitas to the advice that he gives. Focused on portfolio management, Sevdalina Drehemova is another important name for the contact book. Adept at handling large portfolios in Bulgaria and across international borders, Drehemova is a “highly skilled practitioner with great communication skills”. A new entrant in the WTR 1000 this year is Momchil Lazarov, a rising star of the market with special weapons and tactics in the anti-counterfeiting theatre.

PETOŠEVIĆ

PETOŠEVIĆ continues to go from strength to strength as both a leading European IP firm and Bulgarian practice. The opening of a new office in Belarus takes the firm to a grand total of 17 offices and more than 120 employees, giving it a deep chest of resources to put at the disposal of international clients in need of a seamless service. At the helm in Sofia, Dimitar Batakliev is one of the most creative thinkers when it comes to social media matters and the protection of IP rights online. The former BPO disputes department lawyer is an assured handler of complex opposition and court litigation cases.

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

ZMP’s unique selling point is its ability to seamlessly handle prosecution, portfolio management, enforcement and litigation matters throughout South Eastern Europe and its flexible offering of single or multiple points of contact for patrons as preferred. Its team in Bulgaria plays an important part in making the cross-border magic happen, but runs a robust practice domestically on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, too. The local anchor is Tsvetomira Vasileva, an IP specialist with more than 15 years’ experience. The fluent Bulgarian, English and Spanish speaker is at ease coordinating major anti-counterfeiting programmes, taking the lead in thorny opposition and cancellation cases at the BPO and filing and prosecuting trademarks; anything you throw at her will be handled with confidence and poise.

Other recommended experts

Making his debut in the guide this year is Samuil Benatov, who runs a “highly proficient and experienced team” at Dr Emil Benatov & Partners, a “long-established firm that offers a range of specialised services encompassing Ukraine, Bulgaria and the European Union”. Olga Sirakova and Stoyan Sirakov are the go-to IP experts at Interius and are both warmly recommended: “Olga is knowledgeable, respectful and extremely professional and has an elegant style of litigating.” “Stoyan is personable and approachable and has a manner that fosters fruitful collaboration.” At Turcu & Turcu, Managing Partner Aneta Tadjer and Associate Plamena Popova form a dynamic duo. They have excellent academic credentials but a take a pragmatic, not overly theoretical approach to the practice of law, which shines through, especially in customs matters.

Individuals

  • Vasil Pavlov - Pavlov & Co
  • Bilyana Angelova - Dimitrov, Petrov & Co
  • Dimitar Batakliev - PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Samuil Benatov - Dr Emil Benatov & Partners
  • Fani V Bojinova - Bojinov & Bojinov Ltd Patent Trademark & Law Offices
  • Elena Bojinova Miller - Bojinov & Bojinov Ltd Patent Trademark & Law Offices
  • Kina Chuturkova - Boyanov & Co
  • Sevdalina Drehemova - Pavlov & Co
  • Margarita Guigova - Kambourov & Partners, Attorneys at Law
  • Dessislava Iordanova - Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov
  • Momchil Lazarov - Pavlov & Co
  • Biliana Magardichian - Arsis Consulting
  • Kostadin Manev - Manev&Partners
  • Marina Mollova - Boyanov & Co
  • Plamena Popova - Turcu & Turcu
  • Stela Sabeva - Boyanov & Co
  • Aleksandra Semerdzhieva - Manev&Partners
  • Stoyan Sirakov - Interius
  • Olga Sirakova - Interius
  • Velizar Sokolov - Arsis Consulting
  • Aneta Tadjer - Turcu & Turcu
  • Kalina S Tchakarova - Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov
  • Tsvetomira Vasileva - Zivko Mijatovic & Partners