Hungary

European trademark harmonisation is well underway in Hungary, with the latest EU Trademark Directive having entered into force in January 2019. Among other things, this new legislation removes the obstacles to registering non-traditional marks and introduces new grounds of refusal based on traditional terms for wine, plant variety denominations and traditional specialities. The directive comes at a time when Hungarian rights holders are increasingly opting to register EU trademarks as well as national marks; greater European integration is the market’s clear direction of travel.

Firms

Bird & Bird

Having strategically expanded its offering in February 2018 by merging its Budapest office with that of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Bird & Bird continues to go from strength to strength in Hungary. Its top-class team provides incisive advice on all aspects of rights protection, enforcement and commercialisation and exploits cutting-edge expertise in IP-adjacent areas such as data protection. Renowned domestic and multinational marques flock to Bird & Bird when they cannot afford branding mistakes and make a beeline for Bálint Halász and Bettina Kövecses. The “talented, hardworking and ambitious” Halász is a seasoned trademark litigator with an all-encompassing understanding of alternative dispute resolution and domain name law. Kövecses is an inspired choice for trademark enforcement, licensing and prosecution matters, which demand a steady hand and an eagle eye for detail.

Bogsch & Partners

IP boutique Bogsch & Partners has built on its reputation for quality since it was established in 1991. By integrating its trademark and IP service with its corporate, competition, regulatory law and other offerings, it is well positioned to render a holistic service to patrons looking for efficiency and consistency. The key contact on the IP side of the firm is Tamás Gödölle, a “tough but reasonable litigator” and a versatile lawyer whose expertise encompasses trademark, copyright, media, unfair competition, advertising and IT law. Educated in Munich and London and a speaker of English, German and French, he brings an international edge to the practice.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP

With patrons such as eBay, Microsoft and MoneyGram relying on CMS’s refined 360-degree trademark offering, the side is not short of high-profile, high-value instructions. The firm’s sprawling size and network means that clients can easily access world-leading expertise across the continent. Leading light Dóra Petrányi is the main magnet in Hungary. The tech-savvy lawyer has a loyal following of clients in regulated industries and is an ace when it comes to portfolio management and development and domain name disputes. For companies launching new lines of business in Hungary, she is a cogent choice.

DANUBIA LEGAL

A recent uncoupling from Sár & Partners has not affected Danubia’s standing as a market leader – it remains a “major player with a huge portfolio of clients and matters” and a deep and talented roster of professionals. “Responsive and efficient and incredibly knowledgeable on both prosecution and litigation,” Judit Lantos is a resolute leader for the set. The same applies for Éva Szigeti, who has played a major role in the development of Hungary’s trademark laws. Meanwhile Zsófia Klauber contributes world-leading EU trademarks expertise to the practice.

Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law 

Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie’s combination of local and global expertise truly sets it apart on the Hungarian market. The Budapest team works seamlessly with other offices to handle complex and nuanced matters; for example, leveraging the support of Baker McKenzie’s Beijing office, Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi and Zsófia Lendvai have recently acted for non-profit client The Tokaj Wine Region Development Council in a cancellation action against a Chinese entity. Further demonstrating their cross-border capabilities in collaboration with colleagues in Tokyo, the duo have also been representing the National Council of Pálinka on a cancellation proceeding in Japan where a bad faith trademark application for ‘Palinka’ prevented the inclusion of the term as a protected geographical indication in an EU-Japanese free trade agreement. Hegymegi-Barakonyi and Lendvai co-lead the IP team and partner together dynamically to provide thorough guidance on all aspects of trademark protection and enforcement.

Oppenheim

Oppenheim’s superb team is currently going through a purple patch, with inbound work from across Europe coming in at a rate of knots. The practice is expanding swiftly as a result and is now made up of six dedicated practitioners. Trademark maven Aron Laszlo garners effusive praise from all corners of the market: “Áron thinks outside the box and constructively, finding a solution every time. He will reply to queries at 2 in the morning. His advice is always legally faultless and his strategic thinking is brilliant. If you are represented by him in a trademark case, you can count yourself lucky.” His partner Barnabas Mezo is equally sharp. Of late he has been fighting bad faith trademark applications in China on behalf of Unix Auto, one of the biggest Hungarian car parts companies, whose portfolio he recently took over. For Mezo – and for László, protecting clients in Asia has become a big strong suit.

SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys

SBGK exhibits impressive depth and has four practitioners included in the WTR 1000 this year – more than any other Hungarian firm. The firm’s excellent reputation is founded on its track record for winning complicated cases for many iconic national brands, such as Zsolnay Porcelámanufaktúra and Rubik’s Brand Limited. The latter has enlisted SBGK for a cutting-edge European 3D trademark battle concerning the black and white 3D representation of the Rubik’s Cube, a case which will affect the interpretation of rules for 3D trademarks and the issue of functionality as an invalidity ground. Taking the lead on this is managing partner Katalin Szamosi, a 40-year veteran of Hungarian trademark practice. The outfit has a particular penchant for non-traditional marks and Gabriella Sasvári has recently been acting for Kraft Foods Schweiz Holding against well-known Hungarian candy manufacturer Bonbonetti in an infringement case regarding a colour trademark. Sasvári is another storied figure on the market and boasts decades of experience. Other names to note include Péter Lukácsi, a “meticulous practitioner with a sophisticated IP mind”, and rising star Ádám György, who recently earned promotion to junior partner; both are experts on designs and trademarks.

Szecskay Attorneys at Law

An eminent commercial firm with a focus on intellectual property, Szecskay is an excellent one-stop shop. On the IP side, patent litigation is the set’s forte, although they will also dispatch trademark and copyright mandates with assuredness. Leading the way are two pillars of the Hungarian legal community András Szecskay and Gusztáv Bacher. Managing partner Szecskay is an eminent all-around litigator, while Bacher serves as head of intellectual property and is respected for his astute handling of enforcement and commercialisation matters.

Taylor Wessing

As good globally as it is in Central and Eastern Europe, Taylor Wessing is a go to for companies seeking a refined and commercially attuned regional and international IP service. The award-winning team in Budapest led by Zoltán Novák makes a vital contribution to the success of the CEE practice and has close ties with teams in Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Always abreast of all the latest developments in IP law locally and internationally, Novák is an ace when it comes to trademark enforcement matters and IP-driven transactions and is a noted life sciences expert.

Other recommended experts

Anti-counterfeiting maestro László Bérczes has “world-class talent”. His eponymous firm is the REACT network’s Hungarian partner. The “intelligent and dedicated” Balázs Csányi at PETOŠEVIĆ is a leader on internet-related trademark issues. Marcell Kereszty is an anchor of the IP practice at Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó. A versatile professional, he has patent, trademark and copyright law on lock. Tamás Kocsis of Kocsis & Szénássy is well-known for his granular knowledge of the European trademark system. Ildikó Komor Hennel has been a partner at Sár & Partners’ since 2003. She provides sterling representation in trademark infringement cases and domain name disputes. Kovári and Partners founder Zoltán Kovári is a top expert on life sciences patent matters and a dab hand at trademarks too. Operating out of his eponymous firm, “smart and reasonable” András Krajnyák is respected by his peers as a “great professional and an excellent choice for interesting and important matters”.

Individuals

  • Gusztáv Bacher - Szecskay Attorneys at Law
  • Ildikó Komor Hennel - Sár & Partners
  • Judit Lantos - DANUBIA LEGAL
  • Áron László - Oppenheim
  • Péter Lukácsi - SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
  • Gabriella Sasvári - SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
  • Katalin Szamosi - SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
  • András Szecskay - Szecskay Attorneys at Law
  • Éva Szigeti - DANUBIA LEGAL
  • László Bérczes - Bérczes Ügyvédi Iroda
  • Balázs Csányi - PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Tamás Gödölle - Bogsch & Partners
  • Ádám György - SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
  • Bálint Halász - Bird & Bird
  • Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi - Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
  • Marcell Kereszty - Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
  • Zsófia Klauber - DANUBIA LEGAL
  • Tamás M Kocsis - Kocsis & Szénássy Law Firm
  • Zoltán Kovári - Kovári and Partners Patent and Trademark Attorneys’ LLC
  • Bettina Kövecses - Bird & Bird
  • András Krajnyák - ABK Dr Krajnyák & Partner Law and Patent Office
  • Zsófia Lendvai - Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
  • Barnabas Mezo - Oppenheim
  • Zoltán Novák - Taylor Wessing
  • Dóra Petrányi - CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP