Hungary

Lawyers are quick to praise the examiners at the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, noting that they are prepared to open a dialogue and willing to explain decisions. However, the customs authorities receive a more mixed response. Although their efforts are unquestionably appreciated, more bureaucracy is making for less flexibility and fewer opportunities for personal discussions.

Firms

Bird & Bird

The Budapest teams of Bird & Bird and Weil, Gotshal & Manges recently combined to form a group that can effectively support clients on the full spectrum of IP matters across Central and Eastern Europe. Advising on complex M&A transactions has emerged as a particular forte. Bettina Kövecses and Bálint Halász are the nucleus of the practice. Kövecses is a commercially minded practitioner with unique experience advising on the protection and transfer of trademark rights in start-up funding; Halász hits his stride in make-or-break infringement proceedings. One satisfied client comments: “They are the most professional and reliable lawyers I have ever met – and I’ve met a lot. They are intelligent, experienced and always find a way to get the result I want in tricky situations.”

Bogsch & Partners

Immediately after the collapse of communism in Hungary in 1991, Bogsch & Partners was established as an independent firm. Since then, it has been providing laser-sharp, cost-effective IP support to an ever-expanding list of domestic and foreign clients. Fluent in English and German – and conversant in French – Tamás Gödölle is a favourite among multinationals: “He’s excellent at both prosecution and enforcement.” As well as possessing rock-solid trademark knowledge, he publishes widely in the copyright and design fields.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP

Samsung Electronics, Microsoft and the United States Polo Association are three notable names on CMS’s illustrious client roster. The 74-office international titan offers seamless brand management support across the contentious/non-contentious divide to corporate companies and other organisations of all stripes. A particular highlight in recent times was representing the beer manufacturer Csiki Sör in a David v Goliath battle against Heineken before the European Court of Justice. The matter was resolved with an out-of-court settlement that worked for both sides; this was handled by Dóra Petrányi, managing director of the firm’s Central and Eastern Europe division. She has exemplary competition and antitrust knowledge.

Danubia – Sār & Partners

Danubia works hand in hand with Sár & Partners to furnish clients with watertight IP counsel whatever the issue – filing, portfolio management or enforcement. “Both firms have top reputations and some truly excellent colleagues in their ranks.” Director of the firm’s trademark team since 1981, Éva Szigeti has a wealth of experience under her belt. She counts geographical indications as a specialism. Over the past 15 years, Judit Lantos has forged a stellar practice as well; she assists in everything from the drafting of applications to the organisation of customs seizures. Zsófia Klauber is at her very best advising on opposition and cancellation proceedings before the EUIPO. Litigation is the province of Ildikó Hennel. She has the equanimity and powers of recall to succeed in the thorniest of cases.

Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó

The 1990-established Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó is a sound choice for companies with all manner of brand headaches. Its dedicated trademark aces handle nullity and cancellation proceedings impeccably before the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, as well as having experience litigating in the Supreme Court. István Gödölle and Marcell Kereszty are the stars of the show. Gödölle is a technically brilliant lawyer with an intimate knowledge of the relevant legislation and case law; president of the Hungarian chapter of the Association of Intellectual Property Attorneys, Kereszty is a venerated member of the IP community.

Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law 

Combining local knowledge with a global footprint, Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie is used as a one-stop shop by some of the biggest brand owners in the world. Recently it has been expertly managing the trademark portfolios of Prudential, UBM and 3M using Baker McKenzie’s sophisticated Global IP Management System software, which provides real-time access to files for both clients and attorneys. Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi and Zsófia Lendvai co-head the IP department. Hegymegi-Barakonyi is an infringement hotshot; Lendvai has a complete command of online issues, as well as consummate copyright expertise.

Oppenheim

Known for its work on high-profile IP transactions, full-service powerhouse Oppenheim has a reservoir of business savvy in its ranks. Barnabas Mezo recently showcased his skills supporting Coca-Cola Hellenic on its acquisition of Rezangyal, the best-selling Hungarian fruit schnapps distributor; he has the interpersonal skills to wrap contracts up in no time at all. Mezo’s teammate Áron László relishes the challenge of registering a non-traditional mark – especially a colour one. He has the vision and creativity to enter uncharted territory and leave with the right result.

SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys 

“SBGK is a long-established firm that has handled loads of big contentious matters and continues to have an impressive client portfolio.” On the scene for 50 years, the firm has had plenty of time to hone its customer service, and it shows; documents are drafted in transparent, straightforward language and queries are dealt with expeditiously. Managing partner Katalin Szamosi is “very proactive when it comes to coordinating global brand protection work” and deft at dealing with new technologies. Her running mate Gabriella Sasvári is extremely active in several IP organisations and publishes widely. Péter Lukácsi pairs stellar trademark knowledge with impressive copyright expertise.

Szecskay Attorneys at Law

Founded in 1992, Szecskay Attorneys at Law is an “extremely knowledgeable” full-service firm that provides premium support – both on time and on budget – to an impressive list of clients, which range from emerging local players to renowned multinationals. Name partner András Szecskay leads by example; he is in and out of the courtroom and has handled over 100 arbitration cases. His teammate Gusztáv Bacher splits his time between enforcement proceedings and IP audits relating to M&A transactions; domain name issues are a strong suit.

Taylor Wessing

The IP mandates undertaken by Taylor Wessing in Budapest are nicely split between domestic and international clients – approximately 50/50. Being present in 19 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the firm has the wherewithal to effectively coordinate global product launches and help ambitious local brand owners to take flight. Wearing the captain’s armband, Zoltán Novák is a dispute resolution dynamo with a focus on the energy, media and communications and real estate areas.

Other recommended experts

László Bérczes at Bérczes Ügyvédi Iroda is one of the best anti-counterfeiting lawyers around. He always finds effective solutions.” PETOŠEVIĆ’s new recruit Balázs Csányi comes into his own advising clients on complex domain-name disputes. Tamás Kocsis of Kocsis & Szénássy provides “pragmatic, straightforward advice on how to mitigate risks and settle cases in an effective way. He has a thorough knowledge of both Hungarian and European trademark law and very quickly picks up on the peculiarities of his clients’ industries.” Zoltán Kovári at Kovári and Partners prosecutes with flair and finesse. ABK Dr Krajnyák & Partner Law and Patent Office’s András Krajnyák is a “very experienced lawyer who has handled some cutting-edge cases and has great clients. It’s a pleasure dealing with him.”

Individuals

  • Gusztáv Bacher - Szecskay Attorneys at Law
  • Ildikó Komor Hennel - Danubia – Sár & Partners
  • Judit Lantos - Danubia – Sār & Partners
  • 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 – Sār & Partners
  • László Bérczes - Bérczes Ügyvédi Iroda
  • Balázs Csányi - PETOŠEVIĆ
  • István Gödölle - Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
  • Tamás Gödölle - Bogsch & Partners
  • 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 – Sār & Partners
  • 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