Hungary makes changes to the Trademark Act

Hungary makes changes to the Trademark Act

On 1 January 2019, the Hungarian Trademark Act underwent significant amendments, putting into place the EU Trademark Directive and other provisions reflecting the Hungarian IP Office’s practices. In addition, the legislative changes introduce new provisions for e-administration. The most important changes include:

New types of trademarks: The trademark requirement for graphical representation was removed, allowing for new types of trademarks such as sounds, position signs, motion signs, holograms or multimedia signs. To note that it is still a requirement to represent the trademark in an “appropriate form by using any available technology”.

Implications for goods in transit: In a bid to fight counterfeiting, trademark owners are now allowed to oppose transit of any goods bearing, without authorization, a sign identical or similar to their own trademark. This prohibition, however, does not come into effect if the shipper of the goods provides evidence that the trademark owner does not have the right to prevent the distribution of goods in the destination country (i.e. the trademark is not protected in that country).

Classes of goods and services: In accordance with established European practice, it is no longer possible to apply for a trademark designating all the goods or services alphabetically listed under a given class of the Nice Classification. A trademark only grants protection to the goods and services literally listed in the relevant application.

Changes in the fee system: The "one fee per class" system has been introduced for Hungarian trademark applications. (Earlier there was a standard fee of up to three classes and each further class garnered further fees). In addition, a surcharge will apply for late renewals, meaning that an extra fee of approximately EUR 100 will be charged if the renewal request is filed after the expiration date (i.e. within the six-month grace period).

For more information on the changes to the trademark law in Hungary and how it could affect your business, please contact us.