Search terms: Intellectual Property, Hungary
The Metropolitan Court has rejected an application to register the trademark ILKA FITT for mineral and aerated waters on the grounds of likely confusion with the well-known trademark MILKA for chocolate. It held that the marks were visually, phonetically and conceptually similar and referred to the European Court of Justice's ruling in Davidoff that trademarks with a reputation are entitled to special protection.
The Metropolitan Board of Appeal has reversed a decision of the Metropolitan Court in which the latter had refused to register the mark CORPRIL on the grounds that it was confusingly similar to the earlier registered trademark CORPAL. Among other things, the board held that the court had failed to examine the nature of the goods or their intended use.
The battle across several jurisdictions between construction toy manufacturer Lego and its competitors regarding the validity of the trademarks protecting basic Lego bricks has centred on the alleged functionality of the bricks. The Hungarian courts have held that the basic bricks are determined by aesthetic characteristics - they are not functional and do not monopolize the construction toy market.
In a landmark case that has attracted considerable media attention, two private individual trademark owners sued one of Hungary's best-known luxury hotels for trademark infringement. The hotel responded by bringing a cancellation action, which was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court. The lower courts' findings shed light on the interpretation and practical aspects of bad-faith trademark applications.
The EU Enforcement of IP Rights Directive has accelerated the enforcement of infringement claims in Hungary. Certain ex parte claims (eg, for provisional or precautionary measures and those involving the collection and storage of evidence) can be enforced on a preliminary basis before litigation. However, such measures will be repealed if the claimant does not initiate a lawsuit within 15 days.
Article 80 of the General Rules of Administrative Official Procedures and Services Act allows the Hungarian Patent Office to issue official decisions by publishing a notice. Communication by notice is admissible if the party's address or place of business is unknown or the communication by mail is returned undelivered.