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Hungary (HU)

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Okt 11, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 17/18)
New Trade Secret Act in Force
The Hungarian parliament has finally adopted the new act on the protection of trade secrets ("Trade Secrets Act") which will transpose the Trade Secrets Directive EU 2016/943 into national law. Hungary implemented the rules of the Directive by way of adopting a separate new act on July 20, 2018. The new act came into force on August 8, 2018.

The definition of trade secret is now amended to be in line with the Directive, including the secret nature of the information. The new definition stresses that trade secret protection only applies if "it has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances to keep it secret".

The new Trade Secrets Act moves away from the current Hungarian concept and ensures protection of trade secrets similar to intellectual property rights, especially in the case of an infringement. It removes the trade secret and know-how protection from the personality rights section of the Civil Code and clarifies that they are marketable economic rights. They can be sold as a whole or in part, and they can be licensed to a contracting party.

For more information, please click here


Sep 29, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 15/15)
Trademark E-Filing Implemented
The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) has implemented trademark e-filing.

The trade mark e-filing system, part of the Software Package of services developed under the Cooperation Fund, allows Hungarian users to file their trade mark applications electronically.


Jun 14, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 9/13)
Amendments to Trademark Act
On April 1, 2013, the most recent amendments to Act XI of 1997 on the Protection of Trade Marks and Geographical Indications (Trade Mark Act) became effective. The amendments implement international agreements and EU rules into Hungarian law and introduce other significant changes to the Hungarian trade mark regulation. Set forth below is the summary of some of the most important modifications of the Trade Mark Act.

1. New limitation on enforcement of trade mark infringement claims
In court actions filed for trade mark infringement, no damages may be demanded and no other legal sanctions may be applied with respect to the period when the grounds for termination of trade mark protection materialize with respect to the trade mark holder.

2. Date of the revocation of trade mark protection
In certain cases of the revocation of the trade mark protection (e.g.: non-use of the trade mark; deceptive trade mark, etc.), the protection may also be revoked with retroactive effect to any earlier date, provided that the grounds for revocation existed at the earlier date.

3. Registration of state emblems became less restrictive
As a general rule, the registration of state emblems are prohibited. As an exception, however, if authorized by the appropriate agency, trade marks consisting entirely of state emblems or signs indicating control or warranty may be registered. Another change is that the registration of signs indicating control, warranty or a hallmark is prohibited only with respect to certain goods.

4. Use of names of legal entities and organizations as a limitation to trade mark protection
As a result of the amendments, legal entities and other organizations could challenge trade mark holders regarding their lawfully used names in connection with their trade practices. Before the amendments this option was available only for natural persons.

5. Submissions and exhibits
In trade mark proceedings the party initiating the proceedings must file one copy of every submission for each opposing party as well as one copy for the office. In addition, one copy of each exhibit must be attached to every submission filed.

6. Protection of personal data
The Trade Mark Act now explicitly provides that the personal data submitted in trade mark proceedings may only be disclosed if the person concerned consents or if they are public under the general rules of public administration.

7. Withdrawal or modification of decisions
In the absence of opposing parties, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) may withdraw or modify certain decisions ex officio (e.g., decisions staying a proceedings, decisions setting fines or procedural fees), if with respect to such decisions, a review petition has been filed and HIPO consents..

8. The conditions for expedited proceedings have been amended
Within one month from the filing of an application for expedited proceedings, not only the fee for the application for expedited proceedings must be paid but also the filing fee for the trade mark application.

9. Ancillary rules regarding collective marks
a. In the case of collective marks, it is a ground for exclusion if the sign is misleading, especially if it masks the collective nature of the mark.
b. In addition, the amendments clarify that the owner of a collective mark is the association but the mark may be also used by the individual members of the association.
c. In the future, the modification of policies regarding the use of collective marks must be approved by HIPO. The modifications become effective at the time of registration.

10. Use of certification marks
It was clarified that the holders of certification marks may not use such marks for the purpose of certification, but they may authorize such use.

11. Additional limitations of the registration of signs containing geographical indications
Signs consisting of or containing geographical indications may not be registered if they could not be registered as trade marks under EU law.

12. Electronic filing
As of January 1, 2014, the office accepts electronic international applications and requests in international trade mark filings.

Source: KNP LAW Nagy Koppany Varga and Partners, Hungary

Apr 27, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 7/11)
Electronic TM Filing Improved
The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) has improved its trademark electronic filing system. As of March 1st, 2011, nearly all trademark prosecution matters, such as requests for official registry excerpts, changes of registered information and accelerated proceedings, can be requested electronically.

The HIPO now also notifies parties about its decisions electronically and regularly updates its online register. The improved system can generate official trademark registry excerpts in a secure electronic format and send them to the rights holders.

Prior to this change, the HIPO only accepted trademark applications and renewals in the electronic form, while all other documents had to be filed in hard copy. The online register was unofficial and was not updated regularly.

In spite of these improvements, the HIPO will still continue to accept all the above-mentioned requests in hard copy.

Furthermore, the name of the Hungarian Patent Office has changed to Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) as of January 1st, 2011, in conformity with the Office's wide range of activities, including all titles of industrial property and copyright.

Petosevic, Balkan Regional Office and
Hungarian Intellectual Property Office

Legal basis is the Trademark Act no. XI of 1997 . Hungary is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. Since May 1st, 2004, it has been a member of the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. Legal protection can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
Nice classification, 11th edition
Trademark protection may be acquired for all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, light signals, holograms, colours, combinations or shades of colours, three-dimensional forms, the three dimensional form of a good or its packaging, sound marks and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following trademark types may be registered: trademarks, collective marks, certification marks.
The application needs to be filed before the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local agent, except they are from EU/EEA countries, but it is recommendable.
A non-legalised power of attorney is sufficient.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Though the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office performs a search for prior rights and sends it to the applicant before publishing the mark, it is up to the applicant whether he takes the risk of later oppositions or cancellation actions after publication of the application. The Office may reject applications only on absolute grounds (if no opposition is filed).
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 7 to 9 months.
After registration the trademark is published in the official gazette of the Office (“Szabadalmi Közlöny és Védjegyértesítő”).
The opposition period is 3 months from publication of the trademark.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from the expiration date of the trademark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
If the trademark has not been used with regard to the goods or services listed in the specification of goods for which the Trademark is registered within 5 years from registration or has not been used later for 5 years continuously, it may be subject to cancellation. Subsequent use of the trademark can restore protection if no third party has applied for an identical or similar trademark in the meantime and if no party has requested cancellation due to non-use.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is HUF 74,800 for the first 3 classes, HUF 32,000 for the fourth and each additional class.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
Feb 13, 2018
Zivko Mijatovic & Partners, Alicante, Spain  

Mrz 22, 2016
Zivko Mijatovic & Partners, Alicante, Spain  

Jun 21, 2013
SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys, Budapest, Hungary  

Jan 02, 2012
Georg Pintz & Partners, Budapest, Hungary

Okt 08, 2010
SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys, Budapest, Hungary  

SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys

Katalin Szamosi

Katalin Szamosi
Andrássy út 113.
1062 Budapest
Hungary (HU)
Tel (+36-1) 461 1000
Fax (+36-1) 461 1099

We regularly submit national, international and community trade mark applications, perform prior searches, provide monitoring services. We process domain name cases before various forums and have filed many complaints with the Council of Internet Providers. We have an outstanding litigation practice in legal disputes and law enforcement on trademarks, patents, domains and copyrights. Our Office is experienced in protection of neighbouring rights and of software work. We are active in the protection of computer program, literary, musical and commercial works, including copyright problems on the Internet. We represent Clients from various industries on unfair competition issues, unfair manipulation of consumer's choices, cartels, abuse of dominant market position and merger control. We act in various consumer protection cases, as well as in traditional competition law cases before the Hungarian Competition Authority. Community law plays a significant role, providing legal resources in the field of IP law.

Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO)
1081 Budapest,
II. János Pál pápa tér 7.
Tel +36 1 312 4400
Fax +36 1 474 5534
P.O. Box 415
H-1438 Budapest

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
Avenida de Europa, 4
03008 Alicante
Tel +34 965 139 100
Fax +34 965 131 344

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8