Trademark law modified in Hungary as of January 2023

március 8, 2023

Hungarian trademark law has just been updated to better harmonize with EU regulations and other relevant Hungarian law. This means several small changes to the existing law, mostly with practical considerations, making the trademark registration process smoother than before.

You can check the current as well as all previous versions here (in Hungarian), or read on to learn about the most important changes that came into effect this January.

Changes relevant for your Hungarian business

For an outline of trademark procedures in Hungary, you can read our summary here. Below you can get an overview of the latest changes relevant for your Hungarian company if you are planning to register your trademark.

Deadlines and extensions

When you are requested to submit additional documents during a trademark procedure, the deadline for that should be at least 1 month and at most 3 months (unless otherwise indicated for specific cases in the relevant law). That can be extended upon request before expiry by another 1-3 months. Multiple extensions or extensions of 6 months may be granted only in special cases if they are properly justified. This change is supposed to reduce unnecessary delays caused by repeated extension requests an incomplete submissions.

Trademark related data available electronically

Recent trademark registration submissions are always available online for free. Moreover, trademark registration documents have always been available for anyone for review too, upon request. Since 2017, however, this was possible only in person. From now on, that is no longer the case, and documents will be available for review electronically as well.

New rules for opposition against trademark registration

After a trademark has been submitted for registration, other parties have 3 months to appeal the registration by filing an opposition. So far only other trademark holders had been allowed to do so; from now on, other licensees of an earlier right may file an opposition too, even if their rights are not trademarked. If they miss the window for appeal, later they can also file a request for the deletion of a trademark that infringes their rights.

At the same time, now an opposition should include a detailed reasoning, supported by evidence. This is supposed to reduce the number of oppositions that are not justified.

Postponement, suspension, termination

The new version of the law lists conditions under which the trademark registration and opposition procedures can be suspended.

If a trademark procedure involves several adverse parties, it can be put on hold only if every party requests it together. A procedure may be put on hold only once, and it must be continued if even one party requests it. If no such request is made by either party in 6 months, the procedure will be terminated.

An opposition procedure can also be suspended if the parties request it together. In this case, they may receive 2-6 months to figure out their conflict. If no further statement is made during that, at the expiry of the deadline the Authority considers the opposition revoked and continues the trademark registration procedure as before.

Hearings may also be postponed under specific conditions, which are new additions to the law governing trademark registration in Hungary.

Are you planning to register your trademark in Hungary?

The Helpers Team has more than 15 years of experience working with foreign business owners active in Hungary. We offer customized services that cover every aspect of business operation, from company setup through accountancy to company modification, and more. This naturally includes assistance with trademark registration if that is what you are interested in.

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