Patent litigation in Hungary continues to get easier for the country’s practitioners, with a recent change to the civil procedure law making the process quicker and more effective. The drivers of litigation remain the same though, with most instructions coming from major players in the life sciences arena. The unitary patent regime is more divisive in Hungary than in many other European IP scenes; predictions of its effect on domestic innovators are not positive and there is reticence among legislators to ratify any agreement that might stall recent growth in the national economy. Hungary’s Constitutional Court has been asked to rule on whether implementation will require an amendment to the Constitution. If the answer is yes, then chances are that there will be one less ratified signatory to the Unified Patent Court.
Firms: litigation and transactions
- Danubia – Sár & Partners
- Szecskay Attorneys at Law
- Bird & Bird
- Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
- SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
- Danubia – Sár & Partners
- Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
- SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
Bird & Bird
“Efficient and responsive, Bird & Bird’s Hungarian operation is one of the best in the country for patent matters. It knows its craft and gives clear advice.” Bálint Halász leads a rare cross-disciplinary line-up of legal and technical experts that – combined with its access to a reservoir of global expertise – sets the firm apart. Both domestic and multinational actors flock to the group, hoping to take advantage of Halász’s extensive experience in cross-border patent litigation in the pharmaceuticals, electronics and IT realms. A remarkable patent strategist, Halász celebrates a milestone in 2018, having been at the firm for a decade – he has spent that time leaping an array of contentious and non-contentious hurdles for a loyal following of rights holders.
Danubia – Sár & Partners
“Danubia is excellent. Renowned for its work for pharmaceutical originators” the outfit is a “the biggest firm in Hungary and a long-time competitor” in prosecution and litigation support – working in harmony with Sar & Partners’ attorneys at law to deliver clients 360-degree patent protection. Sitting in the captain’s seat, pharmaceutical maven Árpád Pethő is an eminently qualified prosecutor who is well versed in the intricacies of rights protection and enforcement. Flanking him, former managing partner Imre Molnár continues to be a leading light for the outfit. For over 35 years he has applied his broad chemical expertise as a patent attorney to protect IP rights in both fair and stormy weather. Standing up to safeguard IP rights in court are formidable litigators József Tálas and Eszter Szakács. A man of many talents, managing partner Tálas leads both the life sciences and patent litigation squads and is an authority on employee remuneration. Szakács’s staunch defence of medical device and drug patents crucial to her clients’ portfolios ensures that she is a first point of call in troubled times. Outside the courtroom, she turns her attention to licensing work – where her flair for negotiation is put to excellent use.
Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
“If I need the services of a patent attorney, I go to Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó,” confides one prominent attorney at law. The office is home to a small but perfectly formed team of “highly professional prosecutors with excellent technical abilities and impressive skill in patent work”. President of the Hungarian chapter of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Marcell Kereszty is an “incredibly competent attorney”, qualified to practice at the European Patent Office, where he also acts as a member of its Standing Advisory Committee (SACEPO). Peers enjoy working with him in his specialist fields – telecoms and mechanical engineering – and value the additional legal faculties he brings to the fore. Joining Kereszty on SACEPO, firm founder István Gödölle boasts a résumé that includes over 45 years of patent prosecution work with an underlying international focus, positions at high-profile European academic institutions and membership of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Protection Council. He remains a stalwart prosecutor who continues to set the IP standard in Hungary. A chemistry and life sciences doyenne, Daisy Machytka-Frank takes the lead on pharmaceutical endeavours. She possesses a wealth of experience in the prosecution and enforcement of IP rights for clients in that sector.
Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
International full-service powerhouse Baker McKenzie’s Budapest office channels the group’s impeccable global standards in IP work. In high demand among industry giants for their “sound counsel in litigation and enforcement matters, its practitioners complement their contentious offering with a comprehensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical market”. Backed up by a network of offices across the planet, the set assuredly handles complex cross-border cases, ensuring its status as a discerning choice for major multinationals seeking to avoid local headaches. Standing out in a crowded field, Zsófia Lendvai comes highly recommended by her most esteemed peers for her courtroom cogency.
The steady stream of technology players looking for a taste of what Oppenheim’s IP attorneys have to offer bears testament to the firm’s “refreshing” approach and the incredible value of the work it puts out. The line-up of former Szecskay IP hotshots have carved themselves a niche as a transactional go-to – adroit in technology transfer and licensing negotiations in myriad industries. From here, the set builds on its position to deliver state-of-the-art strategy and enforcement insight, producing “tailor-made solutions for clients”. Earning his promotion to partner at the beginning of last year, Áron László “is a pragmatic and responsive lawyer”. He confidently “delivers timely and clear legal opinions”, assisting his devotees in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
SBGK’s patent attorney and litigation practices are the two central pillars of the firm’s drive for total client satisfaction. The former is a cast of technical masterminds who apply their diverse skill sets towards validating European patents and assisting domestic innovators in developing a rights protection blueprint. Managing partner and chemical engineering sage Zsolt Szentpeteri leads this line-up, navigating his charges through the development, financing and prosecution processes. When tensions are high, Szentpeteri turns to Katalin Szamosi and her outstanding attorneys at law to spearhead contentious proceedings. A trusted partner for multinational pharmaceutical outfits, the team champions the rights of these actors in major infringement suits. Highly commended for her “in-depth knowledge of patent registration”, president of the board Szamosi is a formidable IP watchdog for the group’s following and regularly takes the lead in invalidation proceedings.
Szecskay Attorneys at Law
IP boutique Szecskay maintains a dominant position in Hungarian patent litigation. Over the last 12 months the set has continued to build on its substantial client roster of multinational pharmaceuticals, while at the same time sharing its sound counsel across a plethora of other industries. Drawn to the firm by its well-earned reputation for enforcement work, those who instruct it experience the team’s “pragmatic and results-oriented approach; it takes steps to avoid unnecessary legal action and searches for the amicable solution to a problem wherever possible”. “An astoundingly experienced patent litigator”, founding partner András Szecskay “distinguishes himself from other local IP lawyers” through his contentious life sciences expertise, his immersion in international IP matters and his specialisms in various aspects of commercial law. Among Szecskay’s squad of impressive colleagues, Gusztáv Bacher receives the highest acclaim. “An excellent contentious performer, he calls upon a profound legal knowledge and a wealth of experience in infringement proceedings to summon robust arguments on the most relevant issues.” A maverick litigator, he can compel a court to turn its back on established precedent when the situation demands; “he regularly pushes for changes in case law – with a number of notable successes.”
Other recommended expertsFormer SBGK man Gábor Germus has spent the last decade “building an excellent pharmaceutical litigation practice” at eponymous operation Germus & Partners. Peers highlight him as being an “experienced attorney at law and a really nice guy”. Holding both legal and technical qualifications, Kacsuk Patent's Sophia Kacsuk is “probably the most popular patent attorney in Hungary. An exceptional professional with whom it is easy to collaborate, she possesses a strategic mind and extensive expertise,” which makes her an invaluable asset in prosecution and enforcement. “Zoltán Kovári is an excellent young engineer and an expert in chemical work. He is knowledgeable, responsive and great with his clients.” Those hunting for a “reliable and experienced” approach to pharmaceutical and technology briefs should seek him out at Kovári and Partners.
Individuals: litigation and transactions
- Gusztáv Bacher - Szecskay Attorneys at Law
- Katalin Szamosi - SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys
- András Szecskay - Szecskay Attorneys at Law
- József Tálas - Danubia – Sár & Partners
- Gábor Germus - Germus & Partners
- Bálint Halász - Bird & Bird
- Áron László - Oppenheim
- Zsófia Lendvai - Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker McKenzie Attorneys at Law
- Eszter Szakács - Danubia – Sár & Partners
- István Gödölle - Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
- Sophia Kacsuk - Kacsuk Patent
- Marcell Kereszty - Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
- Zoltán Kovári - Kovári and Partners Patent and Trademark Attorneys’ LLC
- Daisy Machytka-Frank - Gödölle, Kékes, Mészáros & Szabó
- Imre Molnár - Danubia – Sár & Partners
- Árpád Pethő - Danubia – Sár & Partners
- Zsolt Szentpeteri - SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys