Hungary, Danubia Patent and Law Office LLC updates

Intellectual Property

Contributed by Danubia Patent and Law Office LLC
Non-registrability of descriptive names
  • Hungary
  • 11 January 2021

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) recently rejected the registration of the combination word mark ECUMENICAL WORLDMUSIC FESTIVAL. The HIPO referred to an earlier judgment of the European Court of Justice, which held that the combination of several elements which are not distinctive does not result in a distinctive sign. The Metropolitan Tribunal agreed, holding that the registration of non-Hungarian words must be refused if their Hungarian meaning is not distinctive.

Likelihood of confusion decision draws on ECJ case law
  • Hungary
  • 19 October 2020

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) and the Metropolitan Tribunal recently rejected a word mark application based on European Court of Justice (ECJ) case law. While it seems likely that the HIPO and the Metropolitan Tribunal would have come to the same conclusion without referring to ECJ case law, the guidance was useful for the development of a unified EU doctrine and case law.

Every claim of opposition must be examined
  • Hungary
  • 10 August 2020

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) recently rejected a trademark opposition in respect of the opponent's prior use and registered the disputed mark. However, as the HIPO failed to consider the opponent's arguments concerning copyright infringement, the Metropolitan Tribunal annulled the decision and ordered a new procedure. In the new procedure, the HIPO must examine whether the opponent sufficiently proved the alleged copyright infringement.

Hungarian authorities deem device mark SPIRIT to be misleading
  • Hungary
  • 03 August 2020

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) recently issued ex officio a provisional refusal to register the international device mark SPIRIT in Hungary, holding that it was misleading because the word 'spirit' means alcohol, whereas the goods in Class 32 include mineral water, beer and soft drinks, which are not hard liquors. The Metropolitan Tribunal subsequently confirmed the HIPO's conclusion.

Protectability of foreign word combinations
  • Hungary
  • 13 July 2020

Hungarian case law frequently discusses the protectability of foreign word combinations. In a recent case, the authorities found that the international mark DRIVE PILOT did not meet the protection requirements. The decisions reflected established case law on the right to refuse protection for an international word mark in Hungary where the words are understood by the average Hungarian consumer and are descriptive.


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