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Annual Technical Report 2006 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Hungary (SCIT/ATR/TM/2006/HU)

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

I. Evolution of registration activities

PREPARATION OF LEGISLATION

The HPO performed its responsible task of intellectual property-related legislation and analysis of legal practice in a comprehensive, efficient and initiative manner. The majority of tasks concerning the preparation of legislation focussed mainly on codification and supplementary works related to Hungary’s membership of the European Union as well as the preparation of amendments to legislation affecting the HPO and connected with the restructuring of governmental organisations.

Decree 18/2006. (IV. 12.) IM of the Minister of Justice on the detailed rules of the voluntary register of works kept at the Hungarian Patent Office was adopted, the setting up of the register was professionally prepared and the personal conditions were created. Registration started on 15 April 2006.

The HPO prepared the Government decree 306/2006. (XII. 23.) Korm. on the detailed rules of the electronic filing of trademark applications.

A working group set up under point 1 of Government decision 1104/2005. (X. 27.) Korm. on certain tasks concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights and working with the support of the HPO surveyed the relationship between the domestic system of domain name registration and intellectual property rights, having particular regard to dispute settlement. In order to fulfil this task successfully, a separate page and forum were created on the HPO’s website. The result of the survey was reported to the Government.

The HPO elaborated the Hungarian position to be represented at the diplomatic conference convened by the World Intellectual Property Organization on the revised Trademark Law Treaty; it prepared a Government proposal to get the necessary authorisation. Decision 2/2006. (III. 10.) ME of the Prime Minister on the authorisation given for the adoption of the revised Trademark Law Treaty and Decision 16/2006. (IX. 20.) ME on the authorisation given for the final establishment of the text of the Trademark Law Treaty adopted in Singapore were accepted.

The HPO gave its opinion on, and contributed to the elaboration of, the HPO-related parts of Act CIX of 2006 on amendments to legislation connected with the restructuring of governmental organisations. In this context it also prepared the draft of Government decree 300/2006. (XII. 23.) Korm. amending Decree 86/2000. (VI. 15.) Korm. on the Hungarian Patent Office. Article 1(5) of Act CIX of 2006 on amendments to legislation connected with the restructuring of governmental organisations – supplementing Article 1(4) of Act LVII of 2006 on central state administrative organs and on the legal status of Government members and state secretaries – classed the HPO as a government office.

The HPO prepared the government proposal on the amendment of industrial property legislation aiming at legal harmonisation; the proposal modifies the Patent Act, the Trademark Act and the Design Act, having regard to Regulation 816/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on compulsory licensing of patents relating to the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for export to countries with public health problems and Council Regulation 510/2006/EC of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs. The proposal was supplemented with the provisions regulating the legal status of the HPO as a government office. (The proposal was adopted by the Government in 2007 that submitted the draft law as a bill to the Parliament.)

The HPO prepared Decree 29/2006. (V. 19.) GKM of the Minister of Economy and Transport amending Decree 19/2005. (IV. 12.) GKM on the fees for administrative services in industrial property procedures before the Hungarian Patent Office, which entered into force on 27 May 2006.

The HPO worked out a draft amendment to the Trademark Act for the Hungarian-Croatian bid regarding the UEFA 2012 European Football Championship. The draft was submitted to the Parliament as Bill T/1206.

Continuous professional support was given by the HPO to the Ministry of Economy and Transport and the National Office for Research and Technology in the preparation of the draft Government decree on the financing research, development and technological innovation projects from public funds (so-called deregulation decree) as well as in the revision of regulations relating to government property.


Hungarian Council for the Protection of Intellectual Property

The five-year mandate of the members of the Hungarian Council for the Protection of Intellectual Property (Council) was renewed, as the first five-year cycle of membership expired at the end of 2005. In the past five years the Council grew into a body playing a guiding role in the intellectual property profession, its activity helped the work of central public administration and commanded keen international interest. On the basis of the proposal of the HPO’s president, the minister of economy and transport signed the letters of appointment of the president and members of the renewed Council on 15 February 2006. The Council of partly new composition held its first meeting on 24 March 2006.

In compliance with its agenda, the Council held four meetings. It discussed and adopted

· the report on the experience of the operation in Hungary of the Community trademark system;
· the report on the results of the survey carried out by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the industrial property awareness of domestic undertakings;
· the draft report to the Government on the survey of the connection between the domestic system of domain name registration and intellectual property rights;
· the summary of procedures evaluating the economic value of intellectual property and the possibility of applying them in Hungary, as well as the proposal on the amendment to the decree on industrial property qualification.

The members of the Council prepared and submitted studies on the following topics:
· “A further step in the harmonisation of intellectual property law: harmonisation in the field of criminal law”, and
· “Connection between statistical classifications, provisions on rates and taxes and intellectual property”.

The Council discussed the plan of creating a National Body Against Counterfeiting and inquired on two occasions into the status of the elaboration of the 2nd National Development Plan, with particular regard to the issues of the promotion of innovation and the protection of intellectual property.

The second volume of the series launched in 2005 by the HPO and the Council was published under the title “White Paper on the Protection of Intellectual Property – 2006”, which discussed the timely issues of innovation, industrial property and copyright. The volume aimed at drawing the attention of economic players and decision-makers in economic policy to the importance of intellectual property approach indispensable in a knowledge-based economy. This new volume contributed admittedly to the analysis of challenges in the field of intellectual property protection, the discussion of proposals on new regulations and the further enhancement of awareness of the intellectual property system

The quarterly “Newsletter on intellectual property protection”, a common publication of the HPO and of the Council, entered its third volume. It sums up news and current information affecting the fields of industrial property and copyright. The aim of the publication is to acquaint in a concise form responsible political and professional decision-makers and players of the economy and culture with current national and international issues of intellectual property protection.


Body of Experts on Industrial Property

The Body of Experts on Industrial Property acted in the matter of 11 requests and commissions. An expert opinion was prepared in 4 cases, and the Body furnished the clients with general legal information in 4 cases. Only one case remained pending before the Body (the proceeding board was already designated). In respect of the other three requests the Body did not give any general legal information and did not draw up any expert opinion due to the withdrawal of the request. Mainly individuals gave a commission to the Body, either personally or through a representative. Requests and commissions were received from the police, courts and economic entities in an equal number; they related to a wide range of cases (e.g. trademark infringement, establishment of a person’s capacity as inventor, remuneration due to the inventor of a service invention, right of pre-emption of joint patentees).


Body of Experts on Copyright

The Body of Experts on Copyright received 42 requests, which represent a considerable increase compared to 2005 (33). The number of requests received in 2005 and continued in 2006 was 6 (7 in 2005), and the number of expert opinions issued for supplementary requests in previously commenced cases amounted to 5 (7 in 2005).

Analysing the range of entities requesting an expert opinion or giving commission it turns out that the majority of requests were received again from the courts (they asked for an expert opinion in 24 cases) and from the police (6). It is worth mentioning that the number of private requests has stabilised (10). Two requests were received, one each from a central administrative authority and a budgetary organ (Tax and Financial Control Administration, Library of the Parliament). The requests and commissions concerned a wide spectrum of copyright and related rights (e.g. sound recording, television work, software, architectural design, etc.).


INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY OFFICIAL EXAMINATION AND PROCEDURES

OFFICIAL ACTIVITY

As a result of Hungary’s accession to Community and European protection systems, the total number of industrial property applications filed in national way – from the country and directly with the HPO from abroad – decreased proportionally as expected. By contrast, the number of trademark applications filed in national way slightly increased.

Table 1.: Breakdown of national industrial property applications – filed directly with the HPO from Hungary and from abroad – by titles of protection (2002–2006)

Similarly to the previous years, the industrial property activity of domestic applicants remained at a low level. This was in close connection with the weakness of the Hungarian activity with respect to innovation and research and development as well as with the backwardness in the entrepreneurs’ awareness of the industrial property system. At the same time the amount of domestic trademark applications remained at the previous year’s level.

Although the number of applications filed by Hungarian enterprises abroad was extremely low, there was a promising increase in the case of certain titles of protection. Hungarian applicants filed 206 Community trademark applications with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), which surpassed by more than one quarter the number filed in the previous year. The number of international trademark applications filed in the Madrid system was also up by about 25%, amounting thus to 252.

Table 2.: Main figures of the industrial property activity of domestic applicants in Hungary and abroad (2002–2006)

In the past year industrial property matters received within the framework of international cooperation worked out differently depending on the title of protection and the type of international cooperation system.

Table 3.: Main figures of industrial property matters aimed at Hungary under international treaties (2002–2006)

As a result of Hungary’s accession to the European Union on 1 May 2004, the effect of Community trademark applications extends to the territory of Hungary as well. The number of Community trademark applications covering Hungary increases continuously and surpassed 77 000. As a consequence of the draining effect of the Community trademark system the number of foreign trademark applications received under the Madrid system further declined.

The figures of the industrial property activity of foreign applicants in Hungary indicate the international interest in the Hungarian market and the international competitiveness of Hungarian economy. The increasing number of requests for the validation of European patents in Hungary shows that in the past few years foreign applicants have given a lot of attention to our country.

As a consequence of foreign applicants’ activity in Hungary, competition in the domestic market becomes keener. After our accession to the Community protection systems even Hungarian enterprises producing only for the domestic market have to respect Community protection effective in Hungary as well. Successful participation in such competition also calls for the raising of Hungarian enterprises’ awareness of the industrial property system.

As a result of Hungary’s accession to the European Patent Convention on 1 January 2003 and to the Community protection systems as from 1 May 2004, a decreasing tendency could be noticed in the number of foreign applications filed directly with the Hungarian Patent Office. In spite of this, foreign applicants claim protection for the territory of Hungary to an increasing extent – in their European or Community applications. Accession to European protection systems has generated new official tasks. The HPO carried out for OHIM national trademark searches with respect to more than 70 000 Community trademark applications.


TRADEMARKS

The number of trademark applications filed in national way was 4237, which represents an increase of 1.5% over the corresponding figure in 2005. Domestic applications amounted to 3490 and foreign applications filed directly with the HPO to 747. The number of domestic applications was down by 0.7%, while that of direct foreign applications was up by 13.4%. Applications received from enterprises were preponderant: 77.8% of domestic applications and 96.7% of foreign applications were of such origin.

In 2006, 5123 international trademark applications were received under the Madrid Agreement. As a consequence of the draining effect of the Community trademark system, the number of international (Madrid) applications was down by 13.1%, or 774 applications, compared with the previous year. The number of Community trademark applications covering Hungary was more than 77 000.

As a result of Hungary’s accession to the European Union, the possibilities of obtaining trademark protection abroad improved for Hungarian applicants, since – in addition to international (Madrid) applications – Community trademark applications can be filed on better conditions. Hungarian applicants filed 252 international (Madrid) applications and altogether 206 Community trademark applications, of which 47 were filed with the HPO as a receiving Office.

Table 4.: Main figures of trademark applications aimed at Hungary under international treaties and filed in national way ( (2002 –2006)

Although the US joined the Madrid system, US applicants continue to rank first among foreign applicants filing applications directly with the HPO: 26.1% of direct foreign filings came from US applicants, they were followed by German and French ones.

Figure 1.: Countries filing the greatest number of direct trademark applications

Table 5.: Figures of trademark procedures (2002-2006)

The „Office’s Obstacle Removing Movement” was aimed at providing better and more professional services for customers and at the reduction of the average processing time by eliminating obstacles impeding administration and bottlenecks, as well as by improving information technology and office management conditions. As a result of the programme, the number of cases pending in national trademark procedures decreased by almost 2300 and that of completed cases increased by 1500 compared with the previous year. The average processing time, including the three months allowed for publication and the one-month period reckoned from sending the search report, decreased to 14.3 months.

With respect to national trademark procedures started after the amendment of the Hungarian Trademark Act as of 1 May 2004, notice of opposition was filed in 146 cases, of which 38 were processed. The proportion of oppositions was lower compared with refusals on relative grounds in procedures according to the previously valid Trademark Act.

Accelerated procedure was requested in 193 cases, which is a considerable increase compared with the 125 requests in the previous year and indicates the growing popularity of this institution.

In addition to the trademark applications, the HPO also proceeded in 63 cases covering national trademarks to be settled by a board. 38 requests related to cancellation and 11 to revocation; the number of completed cases was 63. At the end of the year, 46 board cases for national trademarks were pending, of which 35 related to cancellation and 11 to revocation.

With respect to international trademark applications, notice of opposition was filed in 74 cases. The number of cases completed that concerned opposition amounted to 44, of which 35 trademark applications were rejected, one was granted protection, in 8 cases the notice of opposition was, or was considered, withdrawn.

In 2006, the international trademark board received 64 new cases, of which 13 related to cancellation and 51 to revocation. 57 cases were completed, of which 53 related to cancellation and 4 to revocation. At the end of the year, 58 board cases were pending.

The HPO continued to draw up national search reports for OHIM: in 2006, such search reports were prepared and forwarded to OHIM with respect to 69 224 Community trademark applications.

At the end of 2006, the number of valid national trademarks amounted to 50 516, which was up by 2224 compared with the previous year. 51.2% of valid national trademarks were owned by Hungarians. The ration of US proprietors was 22.7%. The US was followed by the United Kingdom (4.7%) and Germany (2.9%). Among the proprietors having the highest number of valid national trademarks, well-known Hungarian pharmaceutical companies ranked first, such as Gedeon Richter, EGIS and Chinoin.

The classes most frequently indicated in the case of valid national trademarks were: 1) pharmaceutical, sanitary preparations; 2) advertising, commercial services; 3) instruments for scientific purposes; 4) other services, computer software, scientific research services; 5) paper, packaging materials.

During 2006, 1812 valid trademarks were renewed. 67.6% of valid trademarks are 10-year-old or younger. 91.8% of the trademarks are not older than 20 years. The following valid trademarks are older than a hundred years: AESCULAP, Daimler, SANDEMAN, VALVOLINE, TONOGEN, MERCEDES, KODAK, LISTERINE, SATINA, TELEFUNKEN, VIM, VESENOL, LUX, CANADIAN CLUB, OSRAM, DIDIER, ICHTHYOL, Gilette (figurative), APENTA, CEREBOS.

Table 6.: Number of national trademarks valid in Hungary (2002–2006)

Table 7.: National trademarks valid in Hungary in 2006, broken down by countries

Table 8.: Top 10 proprietors of national trademarks

Table 9.: Top 10 classes

Table 10.: Number of national trademarks valid in Hungary, broken down by lifetime and classes

Figure 2.: Breakdown of valid national trademarks by lifetime in 2006

At the end of 2006, international (Madrid) trademarks valid in Hungary totalled 152 254, which represented an increase of 1.9%, or 2818 trademarks. 32.4% of them were owned by German, 16.7% by French and 11.2% by Swiss proprietors. 40.5% of international trademarks valid in Hungary were younger than 10 years; 31.0% thereof were between 10 and 20 years.

Table 11.: International trademark registrations (under the Madrid system) valid in Hungary, broken down by countries

Table 12.: International trademark registrations (under the Madrid system) valid in Hungary, broken down by lifetime

Figure 3.: International trademark registrations (under the Madrid Agreement) valid in Hungary in 2006, broken down by lifetime

One new application was received for the registration of geographical indications; at the end of the year two cases were pending. The number of valid national geographical indications amounted to 41. One new application was received under the Lisbon Agreement.


COURT REVIEW OF THE DECISIONS OF THE HUNGARIAN PATENT OFFICE

In the case of trademarks, the year witnessed a further decline compared with the record in 2003; at the same time the number of cases settled within the HPO’s own competence rose.

2006 saw a considerable decrease in the number of cases dealt with by the courts with a final decision. This may be due to the fact that the Regional Court of Budapest, after having been set up on 1 July 2003, eliminated the backlog in 2004 and 2005, mainly as far as trademarks are concerned; on the other hand less requests for review were filed. Concerning trademarks it was reduced by about 40%. In the case of trademarks, the number of decisions rejecting the request, allowing the HPO’s decisions, repealing them and ordering a new procedure was down compared with the previous year.

As regards trademarks, the number of requests for cancellation has slightly decreased and that of cases for revocation has considerably decreased since 2000.

Table 13.: Requests for review

Table 14.: Requests returned by the Metropolitan Court with a final decision

Table 15.: Requests filed for settlement by a board

TM_Table_2006_I

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of secondary sources of trademark information, i.e., trademark gazettes

OFFICIAL AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS

In the 111th volume of the Gazette of Patents and Trademarks, 12 issues containing altogether 3337 pages were published in 2006. Within this, the official columns amounted to 3269 pages, and the so-called literary part to 68 pages. In compliance with Article 13(1) of Act XC of 2005 on the freedom of electronic information, the Gazette has been published from 1 January 2006 on the website of the HPO electronically, with electronic signature ensuring authenticity, accessible free of charge and in a full text searchable PDF format The whole Gazette, as well as the columns themselves, are downloadable. There was a great interest in the Gazette published on the website: 7500 visitors downloaded 18 000 columns. Printed copies of the Gazette are made subject to the special order of the clients, at production cost.

The Industrial Property and Copyright Review was published for the first time independently, with a renewed appearance. This bimonthly periodical comprised altogether 1140 pages, with 50% more pages than in the previous year. Of the columns, “Studies” made up the biggest volume, followed by “Legal cases” and “International survey”. The periodical is also accessible electronically on the HPO’s website, with a half-year delay.

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of trademark information

IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep

INFORMATION PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

In spite of compulsory payments into the central budget that affected IT investments as well, the HPO could still ensure the information technology background necessary for the official activity and fulfilled the tasks laid down in legislation on the introduction of electronic administration.

In compliance with the legal provisions, the HPO’s middle-term information technology strategy was prepared. The strategy was aimed first of all at identifying the goals and directions, by means of which information technology can best serve the HPO’s objectives.

Act CXL of 2004 on the General Rules of Administrative Official Procedures and Services (the Administrative Act) lays down that in administrative official procedures the possibility of electronic administration must be ensured for customers. In compliance with industrial property legislation amended according to the provisions of the Administrative Act, the HPO set up, on schedule, the information technology system necessary for the introduction of the electronic filing of trademark applications, joined the electronic governmental network, connected its electronic trademark filing system with the customer gate of the central electronic service system; as a result of all this, since January 2007 it has accepted trademark filings electronically as well.

The maintenance, operation and development of the HPO’s information technology systems and stock of tools were carried out in the interest of professional aims, taking into account the provisions on safety, property management and public procurement. The number of tools was only augmented with the servers and storage devices supplied by the European Patent Office.

The uniform record system set up for the support of the industrial property office management activity was also instrumental in performing the tasks relating to the national official activity and to Hungary’s membership of the EPC and the European Union. After developments, the uniform record system has become suitable to fulfil the new requirements of the Administrative Act. The office management processes were modified in the system in accordance with the Administrative Act’s provisions, the uniform record system was prepared to perform the tasks relating to the registration of works launched on 15 April 2006 as a new service.

The electronic recording and the e-register were renewed in their appearance and content. The patent data were supplemented with European patents, plant variety rights and supplementary protection certificates, thus they encompass the data of all titles of protection relating to the patent field. The data of trademark applications filed since 1 May 2004 are also included. The user surface of the e-register was extended by the preselection possibilities that have already become usual in the case of PIPACS, the range of searchable data increased. The display of hit list is complemented with the possibility of narrowing filtering relating to the forms of protection.

As regards the further development of services against payment, the HPO introduced a registration system for the use of databases available on the website (PIPACS and electronic recording).

The HPO achieved considerable results in carrying out the objectives of the electronic governmental strategy connected with the establishment of information society. During the development of the office’s homepage, every effort was made that not only the narrow professional circles be addressed, but the awareness of the intellectual property system be raised and the strengthening of innovation processes be promoted as well. As a result of the development, the users can meet a renewed content and image by clicking www.mszh.hu.

The new portal fully complies with the prescriptions mandatory for government organisations (creation of functional e-mail addresses, publication of data of public interest, French and German informative pages in addition to the English ones, forms for user satisfaction survey, short summary of the tasks of the organisational units connected with the organigram of the office, pages introducing the top management of the HPO).

Compared with the homepage last renewed in 2004, the new portal is enriched with several new services. New or restructured or updated material was prepared for 84 menu points. A version of Hungarian pages from which obstacles were removed was prepared for the blind and persons of impaired vision. A scientific calendar paying tribute to the intellectual heritage of Hungarian scientists and inventors was launched on 1 September (it was integrated into the successful website of Neumann House entitled “Outstanding days”).

The homepage was attended by 257 450 individually identifiable visitors on 370 969 occasions. The number of visitors was up by 15% and that of visits by 10% compared with the previous year. The downloaded data volume has more than doubled, and this figure does not contain the so-called robot-generated downloads. 55% of the visitors viewed the homepage from Hungarian (.hu) domain name and 45% from other (.com, .net or foreign) domain names. 64% of the total data volume were downloaded on Hungarian computers. These figures do not include the data of queries from the databases (PIPACS, e-register).

Table 16.: Attendance of the HPO’s website (1 January – 31 December 2006)

TM_Table_2006_IV

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

The eMage project launched in 2004 to screen out counterfeited products terminated successfully. The database developed within the framework of the project and using pattern recognition is a unique tool for image similarity searches; it contains French, Hungarian, Austrian, Portuguese national, as well as Community and international registered figurative trademarks and protected designs. Potential users of the web-based database set up as a result of the project are customs authorities and police, SMEs, patent attorneys and lawyers. The HPO participated (as data integration centre) in creating, testing, documenting and presenting at national and international fora the database making natural language search and pattern recognition possible. The project will be continued with the creation of the conditions of business services. The HPO contributed to the preparation of the eMarks offer designed to put the service on the market, as a result of which the project can be continued in 2007.

VI. Administration of trademark information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering trademarks, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

The HPO’s services are focussed on the support of the official patent activity and of public information by documentation and information technology.

In 2006 it was the fifth year already that the Patent Library has been performing tasks directly supporting the official examining work. The number of orders relating to PCT applications entering the national phase amounted to 167. There was a keen interest in the services of the Patent Library: 7722 requests were received. Of this, general information was given by phone in 1825 cases and personally in 2504 cases; in 1991 cases the subject of the service was search in documents.

The stock of the Industrial Property Professional Library was augmented by 1030 new technical books; 312 subscribed periodicals (167 Hungarian and 145 foreign) were available to the readers. There were 353 registered readers. The “Huntéka” integrated system for libraries of the Computer and Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that won in a public procurement procedure was introduced.


VIVACE PROGRAMME

The Action Plan Promoting Industrial Property Competitiveness of entrepreneurs, the so-called VIVACE programme, launched in 2003, was aimed at enhancing the small and medium-sized enterprises’ awareness of the intellectual property system, developing their industrial property culture and strengthening their industrial property activity. Within the scope of this programme a national intellectual property information network was set up and is operated successfully, which includes industrial property information points established in 21 towns within the framework of chambers of commerce and industry, infopoints operating in 3 towns with the participation of experts of the Federation on Technical and Scientific Societies, as well as the PATLIB centres established in regional university knowledge centres according to uniform European requirements.

The operation of the chamber information points of the network enjoyed the financial support of the Ministry of Economy and Transport, thereby industrial property knowledge, constituting a basic condition of successful innovative activity, was available to 45 000 SMEs. This information points receive 325 new requests on average monthly and organise in each region at least 10 events per month with an average attendance of 60 persons.

The industrial property information centres at the universities are the first Hungarian members of the European patent information and documentation network, the so-called PATLIB network, operated with the professional support of the European Patent Office and having more than 310 members. This network provides patent information first of all to individual inventors, researchers and teachers as well as to SMEs. After the centres of Miskolc and Szeged, the third Hungarian PATLIB centre involving the regional university knowledge centre at Debrecen was opened in April 2006. In addition to client services, the PATLIB centre of Miskolc also held industrial property courses for the experts of BORSODCHEM.

With the participation of the staff of the industrial property information network of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a survey was made by means of questionnaires on the level of industrial property awareness of Hungarian undertakings. Almost 500 undertakings were questioned and their replies evaluated. The results of the survey are instrumental in developing the future innovation support activity of the HPO, in operating the national intellectual property information network and in introducing new industrial property services.

The HPO gradually enriches its higher-level industrial property services extending beyond the free-of-charge information activity of the client services. As from 1 July 2006, two new services have been offered to clients against payment, the express patent search and the simplified trademark similarity search. The growing interest in these services was proved by the fact that during the first half year’s operation more than 200 orders were received.

Since 15 April 2006, as a new official service, works and performances governed by Act LXXVII of 1999 on Copyright can be put on a voluntary register of works; in 2006 more than 150 interested persons used this service.

As from 1 January 2005, small and medium-sized enterprises may deduct from the corporate tax base, and individual entrepreneurs employing less than 250 persons from the income, the costs spent on the acquisition and maintenance of patents, utility models and designs in Hungary. This possibility of tax deduction has been extended also to plant variety protection since 1 January 2006.

The Ministry of Economy and Transport continued receiving works submitted within the framework of the competition system supporting, from the special appropriation “Filing Hungarian applications abroad”, the acquisition and maintenance of industrial property protection of Hungarian inventions abroad; by means of this, individual inventors, research institutes and universities could get support for obtaining protection abroad. The Ministry also gave grants to SMEs for filing their patent applications abroad and making the first steps of putting their inventions on the market, from the special appropriation “Small and medium-sized enterprises”.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information

CLIENT SERVICES

There was a great interest in client services offered by the HPO: 19 476 requests were received, which represents an increase of 17.1%, or 2843 requests, over the previous year. 59.5% thereof were answered by phone, but personal information continued to play an important role: 6744 personal requests were recorded. Information by phone was up by 28.5% and personal information by 5.6%. E-mail has become an important tool for the client services to provide intellectual property information, while the number of requests by fax or letter decreased.

General information was again an important part of client services turnover: 30.3% of the clients required information of general character. Of the titles of protection, trademarks attracted the greatest interest: 40% of the total demands related to trademarks; second were the requests for patent information. It was due to the introduction of the voluntary registration of works that requests relating to copyright considerably increased: they amounted to 5.3% of the total demands.

In 2006, the officials of the Client Services supplied information from databases in 4862 cases, the number was 21.5% down on 2005. Within this, the number of informative trademark filtering before the filing of applications dropped by 34.8%. One of the reasons is that an ever increasing number of clients, especially professional users, were able to use the PIPACS database on the website, without the assistance of the HPO’s experts. Furthermore, since 1 July 2006, the Client Services performed trademark filtering from databases only against payment, within the framework of the so-called simplified trademark similarity search.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

COMMUNICATION AND PRESS ACTIVITY

The fundamental principle of the HPO concerning its public appearance is the effective and open informative behaviour. In this spirit, regular relations were maintained with the representatives of the media, mutually informing each other of the possibilities of cooperation. In several cases working relations were established with the persons responsible for communication in partner institutions cooperating in certain events, in particular with those of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Economy and Transport, Ministry of Education and Culture, the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and the Hungarian Innovation Association.

The HPO organised an information conference for the press on the occasion of the publication of the latest volume of the series “White paper on the protection of intellectual property”, in which the authors of the book also participated.

On 28 November 2006, a communication conference “Scientific communication – Seeking ways to the public” was organised with the professional support of the National Office for Research and Technology, the National Club of Scientific Journalists, the HEURÉKA-Solart Film, the Hungarian Innovation Association and the HPO.


INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY EDUCATION

The long-standing conscious educational activity of the HPO contributes to a great extent to the development of Hungarian industrial property culture and to the enrichment of intellectual property knowledge. Due to the selective educational activity, there was an ever increasing interest in the intermediate and advanced level industrial property courses, industrial property training programmes were present in the higher education institutes and several specialised courses were held at the request of various professional, entrepreneurial and non-profit organisations. In 2006, 1481 students received industrial property education in 947 hours, which represented a 9.1% increase in the students’ number compared with the previous year.

Figure 3.: Number of students receiving industrial property education (2002-2006)

The two-year advanced level industrial property course is an important pillar of the development of domestic industrial property culture and of the bringing-up of new generation of the profession. The course launched last year continued with 30 persons. The students came from the circles of entrepreneurs, lawyers and attorneys and members of the HPO’s staff in an equal proportion. In order to improve the level of diploma works, 17 tutors from the HPO helped the students.

The intermediate industrial property education is sought for, in addition to higher education institutes, by undertakings. Successful intermediate training has been provided for fifteen years at the Faculty of Agriculture of Tessedik Sámuel College. 21 persons passed the exam. 26 students received intermediate education at the Károly Róbert College of Gyöngyös. The intermediate course organised in cooperation with the Hungarian Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and Copyright was attended by the employees of the Gedeon Richter pharmaceutical company; 22 persons passed the exam.

On the basis of cooperation agreements concluded in the past few years with the most important universities of Hungary, the students of higher education institutes could acquire up-to-date intellectual property knowledge within the framework of graduate and post-graduate training, distance learning and specialised courses. In 2006, 1198 students of higher education institutes took part in such forms of training.

The competition launched by the HPO for the preparation of diploma works has been successful for years. In 2006, 14 works were received from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, 13 from the University of Miskolc, 4 from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, 4 from the University of West Hungary and 8 from the University of Szeged. The diploma works sent for the competition form frequently the basis of industrial property applications.

The HPO organised specialised courses for the leading researchers of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and for the staff members of the Hungarian Police Headquarters on the basis of cooperation agreements concluded with these institutions; as a result, 50 persons received industrial property training.

The modern distance learning methods also contributed to the development of intellectual property culture. The patent module of the renewed e-learning curriculum was introduced at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in the semesters of 2005/2006.

Table 17.: Industrial property training in higher education institutions in 2006


COOPERATIVE RELATIONS

The HPO established or strengthened professional, educational and other contractual cooperation. The most important were:


Professional cooperation

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungarian Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and Copyright, Hungarian Trademark Association, Association of Hungarian Inventors, Hungarian Innovation Association, Jedlik Ányos Society, Hungarian Academy of Engineering, Federation of Technical and Scientific Societies, Hungarian Research Student Foundation, NOVOFER Foundation, Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Society of Young Hungarian Scientists, Hungarian Scientific Society, Hungarian Police Headquarters, Decor Association.


Educational cooperation

Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Corvinus University, University of Debrecen, Eötvös Loránd University, Harsányi János College, Károly Róbert College, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Miskolc, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, University of West Hungary, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, University of Pécs, Tessedik Sámuel College, Semmelweis University, University of Szeged, Szent István University.


Cooperation in knowledge dissemination

National Club of Scientific Journalists, Palace of Miracles.


Cooperation in professional communication

Magyar Televízió – Delta, Duna Televízió – Magyar Csillagok, HEURÉKA-Solart Film, Élet és Tudomány, Jogtudományi Közlöny, De jure jogászmagazin, Napi Gazdaság, Világgazdaság, Gazdasági Rádió, Figyelő, Mezőgazdasági lapok, Természettudományi Társulat, Természet Világa.

Among professional cooperation agreements, it is worth mentioning – by reason of its timeliness and importance – the agreement signed by the president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the president of the HPO on 31 May 2006, the main objective of which is to promote intellectual property protection in research institutes of the Academy, the enforcement of rights and the utilisation of intellectual creations.

The HPO and the law enforcement agencies are important partners in the fight against counterfeiting. In this spirit was signed in January 2006 a cooperation agreement between the National Police Headquarters and the HPO, the main element of which is the intellectual property training of police officers.

TM_Table_2006_VIII

IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

http://www.mszh.hu
http://www.hpo.hu

X. Other relevant matters

INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION

International cooperation focussed on exercising rights and meeting obligations deriving from Hungary’s membership of the European Patent Convention and the European Union, as well as on international professional cooperation within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The majority of the HPO’s international activity concerned participation in the work of the European Patent Organisation and the European Union. 63% of the total missions abroad represented trips connected with meetings of the professional bodies of these two organisations. The efficiency of the management of missions is shown by the fact that the costs of 60% of the trips were reimbursed by the receiving organisations.


Exercise of rights as a Contracting State of the European Patent Organisation

The HPO – with the contribution of delegations headed by the president – successfully performed the tasks deriving from rights and obligations involved by membership of the European Patent Convention. In 2006, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held four meetings. The Board, set up in the interest of a better preparation of the Administrative Council’s decisions, met six times, the Budget and Finance Committee three times. The experts of the Committee on Patent Law held four meetings. Also four meetings were held with respect to the so-called strategy debate carried on the decentralisation of works.

In the main issues of the strategy debate within the European Patent Organisation an acceptable decision was made at the 2006 June meeting of the Administrative Council. The Administrative Council decided on the establishment of the European Patent Network. It was agreed upon that a consortium – open to all Contracting States – should be set up relating to user support activities. A new project will also be launched for the supplementary national services promoting the use of the European patent system. Hungary is an active partner in these projects. A working party was set up to investigate the questions of the European Quality System. The legal vice-president of the HPO, as a permanent invited member of the Board participates in the work of the group dealing with the future of the patent system. With respect to the renewal of the cooperation between the European Patent Office and national offices, the Administrative Council made a decision at its October meeting. The HPO and the European Patent Office signed a bilateral cooperation programme for 2007.

The legal vice-president of the HPO is a permanent member of the Board in his capacity as chairman of the Committee on Patent Law of the European Patent Organisation.


Tasks deriving from membership of the European Union

The HPO established close cooperation with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market of the European Union (OHIM) and fulfilled the obligations involved by the operation as an EU Member State. Hungary’s representative in the Administrative Board of OHIM is the legal vice-president of the HPO and the alternate representative is the head of the Trademark, Model and Design Department. In 2006, the Administrative Board and the Budget Committee held two meetings each. Liaison meetings were held on three occasions. The so-called Pre-Selection Committee met twice and in September 2006 a workshop took place for the set-up of a decentralised information network between OHIM and national offices. The HPO concluded a cooperation agreement with OHIM, within the framework of which the HPO prepared general information materials about the Community design system, the Community trademark system and issued publications containing frequently asked questions and replies relating the Community protection systems.

From 1 May 2004, Hungary has been represented in the Administrative Council of the Community Plant Variety Office by the technical vice-president of the HPO and by an official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The HPO was represented at the Working Party on Intellectual Property of the Council of the European Union, at the expert committees of the European Commission and at other meetings on 18 occasions. Meetings were held in the following subject matters: Council Working Party meetings on copyright and related rights; expert committee and Council Working Party meetings on wines and spirit drinks as well as on geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs; meeting of industrial property attachés and Council Working Party meeting on designs; Council Working Party meetings concerning the preparation of the diplomatic conference for the adoption of the revised Trademark Law Treaty and WIPO General Assembly in 2006; Concil Working Party meetings on the law of patents.

The HPO’s officials undertook an honouring and significant role in intellectual property-related assistance services in the organisation of the EU TAIEX Office, they took an active part in peer reviews within the framework of the CARDS programme intended for the countries of Western Balkan.

The HPO took an active part in the work of the Interministerial Committee for European Affairs (ICEA), in the operation of the ICEA’s expert group responsible for intellectual property. The expert group held a meeting on 22 February 2006 relating to consultations launched by the European Commision on future of the patent system in Europe. The HPO participated in answering the Commission’s questionnaire and prepared the intellectual property-related parts of the Hungarian position to be represented at the Commission consultations on the future of the internal market.

The HPO contributed, as a member of the ICEA’s enlargement expert group, to the examination of the intellectual property chapters of the Croatian and the Turkish screening, furthermore prepared, as a member of the ICEA’s competition and development expert group, the Hungarian position on the intellectual property-related chapter of the draft of the 2006 December conclusions of the Competitiveness Council.


Cooperation within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization

As a result of a four-year preparation and intensive discussions, the Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks was closed on 26 March 2006. The Singapore Treaty created under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was signed by the HPO’s president in Geneva, on 26 September 2006.

Similarly to the previous years, the representatives of the HPO regularly took part in the meetings of the standing committees of WIPO. In 2006, the HPO provided Hungarian participation in the following meetings: series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, meetings of the Program and Budget Committee, meetings of the Standing Committee on Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications, informal meeting of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, meeting of the Working Group on Reform of the PCT, meeting of the Standards and Documentation Working Group of the Standing Committee on Information Technology (SCIT), meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Legal Development of the Madrid System, a committee meeting on the Development Agenda, as well as international negotiations relating to the future of substantive patent law. In issues of industrial property representation and specialised diplomacy the HPO maintained contacts with the representatives of Hungary’s Permanent Mission in Geneva.


Regional and bilateral cooperation

Regional and bilateral intellectual property relations continued in 2006, too. The heads of the industrial property offices of the “Visegrad countries” held their annual meeting in Prague in October. As regards bilateral interoffice meetings, a bilateral design conference was organised in cooperation with the Italian Patent and Trademark Office; the exchange of experience with the State Intellectual Property Office of Croatia aimed at assisting Croatia’s negotiations on accession to the European Union by means of professional advisory service. The HPO was visited by a delegation of the Finnish National Board of Patents and Registration, a delegation of the Austrian Patent Office, a delegation of the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks, the president of the Portuguese National Institute of Industrial Property and the director general of the Spanish Patent and Trade Mark Office. During the visit of the director of the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office, a cooperation agreement on services was signed between the two offices.


International projects

The HPO, together with 24 European national offices, took part in the Office Network programme launched in 2005 and coordinated by the European Commission’s Enterprise Directorate, which set as objective the establishment of an information network of patent offices and the European Commission’s IPR Helpdesk as well as the harmonisation of intellectual property information provided to small and medium-sized enterprises. As a result of the project, the common information website – InnovAccess – created by the national offices of 25 European Member States and by three international organisations – EPO, OHIM and IPR Helpdesk – started on 9 November 2006. The common website contains the most important industrial property information, relating to procedures, fees, contacts and services, published by the national offices and the three participating international organisations, and is regularly updated by the data managers.