Two well-established family-based boutiques continue to dominate Hungarian trademark practice, boasting bags of experience and star-studded client rosters. However, the market is becoming increasingly competitive: several general service firms – including some world-renowned names – are developing their IP teams to great effect, while a number of high-quality compact IP shops and individual practitioners are also touting for business.
- Danubia – Sár and Partners
- SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
- Szecskay Attorneys at Law
- Bird & Bird
- Bogsch & Partners
- Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
- Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
Bird & Bird
As in so many other European jurisdictions, Bird & Bird’s Hungary set offers a gilt-edged service across the IP lifecycle. The local team has continued to consolidate its position by hiring two new associates in the past year. Part of a tight-knit business law practice, its trademark professionals outshine their rivals when it comes to commercially attuned counsel; young and dynamic, they shape creative, but practical solutions to brand rights conundrums. Spearheading the group, Bálint Halász “has tremendous knowledge and experience of all aspects of trademark law in Hungary and the European Union. He is a seasoned litigator, and has great communication skills and an acute business sense.” A solid grasp of IT, privacy and data protection laws are further feathers in his cap. Of late he has been defending KVINT-R’s MiniME mark in cancellation proceedings. Working on contentious and non-contentious briefs, Bettina Kövecses is most celebrated for her insightful prosecution advice, but she is also incredibly effective in customs enforcement and brings a sure touch to intricate transactional mandates. Kövecses “gives plain-spoken advice – often drawing on valuable industry knowledge – making you feel completely at ease. She understands client needs and maps various scenarios to find the best fit for the situation. Her service is excellent and she puts the greatest effort into addressing the smallest concerns.” She also provides multifaceted assistance to HYAMATRIX Hungary on distribution, cancellation, and regulatory matters. Alongside Halász, Kövecses has assisted SPEEDFITNESS with the registration of national and EU trademarks.
Bogsch & Partners
Leading corporate law outfit Bogsch & Partners has a special focus on intellectual property. Drawing on cross-disciplinary know-how, its trademark lawyers offer a holistic brand creation and protection service, laser-focused on commercial concerns. Best known for settling seemingly intractable disputes and for sure-footed work in IP-rich transactions, they complete their offering with a suite of super-efficient prosecution services. Supplying assured leadership is Tamás Gödölle, who combines granular knowledge of trademark, media and advertising law, with an impressive command of M&A and contract matters. “He is an excellent professional, robust on the main points, but good for reaching an agreement too.” One of the world’s most famous fast-food chains is among his longstanding clients; he has handled high-stakes litigation and stitched up a number of licensing agreements on its behalf.
Danubia – Sár and Partners
Hungary’s largest and most distinguished trademark agency Danubia establishes bulletproof trademark protection for many of the world’s best known brands; when disputes arise, it calls on its partner law firm Sár and Partners for muscular advocacy and shrewd guidance. Together, they have the firepower – and the breadth of knowledge – to handle any soft IP contingency. The celebrated Judit Lantos plays a pivotal role: she knows exactly how to get marks granted – or cancelled – and operates skilfully before national and European IP offices. One client extols her “brilliant strategic handling of crucial trademark disputes. She is helpful and responsive throughout”. Recently appointed managing partner Ildikó Komor Hennel is an invaluable ally in contentious circumstances. She is a seasoned litigator before the nation’s highest courts, and is always willing to roll up her sleeves in the pursuit of counterfeiters. One patron regards her as “among the best lawyers I have worked with – someone who has superb knowledge, a keen commercial understanding and always gets results”. Of late, Komor Hennel triumphed on behalf of Zeina Hotel in an infringement case before the appellate courts. Versatile practitioner Zsófia Klauber is another key contact, especially for domain name and e-commerce instructions. The vastly experienced Éva Szigeti provides discerning insight on portfolio development, as well as vital support to trademark and unfair competition litigation efforts.
Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
Slick prosecution is only one facet of Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó’s highly sought-after trademark offering: the elite agency also acquits itself well in administrative and judicial conflicts. Its popularity is due in part to the talents of István Gödölle, a veteran campaigner who assuredly navigates clients through Hungary’s brand protection waters. Patrons are also in safe hands with Marcell Kereszty, a deeply insightful partner who dispenses far-sighted portfolio development advice.
Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
Unparalleled international support structures are a major boon for Baker McKenzie’s member firm in Budapest: fine-tuned portfolio management and anti-counterfeiting systems ensure that it builds impervious protection for its clients’ intellectual assets, and that it cracks down on infringers efficiently, while a top-notch international network of colleagues enables the squad to serve global patrons with ease. The ensemble currently takes care of brand rights prosecution for Walmark, Grupo Bimbo and Abbott Medical Optics. Its gifted local practitioners also have a flair for complicated domestic litigation. IP specialist Zsófia Lendvai impresses peers with her compelling arguments and practical approach to dispute resolution, whereas “knowledgeable and greatly experienced” managing partner Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi dazzles where trademark and unfair competition wrangles intersect.
A stellar boutique within a general service firm, Oppenheim’s IP department attracts a torrent of praise from fellow professionals. It has seen a meteoric rise in recent years, boasting annual growth of more than 20% since 2014. Covering all trademark angles, the young and dynamic team is instructed in the most strategically demanding matters – whether in prosecution, litigation or transactions. Widely acclaimed lawyer Áron László is the mainstay of the practice; he comes highly recommended this year, shortly after being made partner. The former SBGK lawyer “is an IP trailblazer – he has intricate legal knowledge, attuned business understanding and creates practical solutions. He writes well, argues persuasively and can handle any case. Clients love his enthusiasm, as well as his holistic advice”. László handles dozens of applications and opposition in more than 100 countries for Hell Energy; he also takes care of brand rights for Wizz Air, the world’s third-largest budget airline and has been working towards the registration of a 3D mark for Gömböc. Rising star Barnabas Mezo has been working closely with László in a convoluted dispute between Sun System and alleged infringers of its CHOCO trademark for tanning tubes; they have both also been seeking to have Skyworth’s trademark granted in the face of opposition from Sky.
SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
Preeminent boutique SBGK has been a leading light on Hungary’s trademark stage for decades. Its big-name client list is well catered for by an impressive team of time-served experts, backed up by cutting-edge support systems. Heading up this crack team is managing partner Katalin Szamosi, a “trademark doyenne” with 40 years’ practice behind her and a flair for portfolio development and complex litigation. “She is highly proactive, has sharp skills and can handle the largest mandates.” Prosecution maven Gabriella Sasvári served a five-year stint at the national IP office, and knows exactly how to overcome obstacles to brand protection. The versatile Péter Lukácsi advises on the full gamut of trademark questions, from national filing to high-profile suits before the European Court of Justice. Household names, such as Sky and Unilever, are among his clients.
Szecskay Attorneys at Law
“First-rate” business law firm Szecskay is lauded for having “a broad commercial perspective on IP matters” and peerless expertise across a range of industry sectors. A skilled and resolute defender of blue chips in high-stakes disputes, its metier lies in optimising the value of brand rights through judicious transactions. Its first-class lawyers are held in high esteem by their associates. Combining “an incisive mind and well-honed practical instincts”, Gusztáv Bacher is masterful in complex litigation and draws on a reservoir of regulatory knowledge. “He is a good thinker and constructs solid arguments. He is also a very professional and effective operator.” Bacher co-authored the country’s first commentary on trademark law. Fellow litigator and managing partner András Szecskay has equally profound legal nous, which he has cultivated over a 40-year career. “He has a superlative track record in big cases and is especially good in questions of damages.” The veteran campaigner is the current president of the Hungarian Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and Copyright.
Other recommended expertsEnforcement specialist László Bérczes works seamlessly with Customs and police to remove counterfeits from the market. “He is innovative and very dependabl.” His firm, Bérczes Ügyédi Iroda, is the only Hungarian member of the REACT anti-counterfeiting network. “A superb practitioner with invaluable experience at the EU Intellectual Property Office”, Tamás Kocsis of Kocsis & Szénássy obtains watertight national and EU trademarks with finesse. Zoltán Kovári is “an excellent professional who works to the highest standards. He is very active – you see him in court often”. The litigation ace works out of Kovári and Partners. ABK’s András Krajnyák is “excellent – very experienced and highly skilled”. The business-focused professional can build fortress-like brand protections – and devise the optimum strategy to exploit their value.
- Gusztáv Bacher - Szecskay Attorneys at Law
- Ildikó Komor Hennel - Danubia – Sár and Partners
- Judit Lantos - Danubia – Sár and 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 – Sár and Partners
- László Bérczes - Bérczes Ügyvédi Iroda
- 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 – Sár and 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