Following the filing of a utility model application, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter referred to as the Office) shall examine whether the application satisfies the requirements prescribed for according a date of filing, the filing and the search fee have been paid, as well as in case of foreign applications the description and the drawings have been filed in the Hungarian language.
The Office notifies the applicant of the accorded date of filing. If a date of filing cannot be accorded, the Office invites the applicant to correct the defects within two months. If the applicant complies with the invitation within the specified time limit, the date of receipt of the correction shall be accorded as the date of filing. Failure to comply with the above provisions, the application can not be considered a utility model application and the procedure shall be terminated.
Information on the filing fee is contained in point 1 of the Schedule of Fees. The application fee shall be payable to the account of the Office, with the indication of the reference number and destination (title). Payments without a reference number shall not be valid. If the filing fee and the search fee have not been paid within two months after the filing date, the application shall be considered withdrawn. The Office may accord an exemption from the filing fee if the applicant cannot pay them because of his wages, income and financial standing.
If the applicant submits parts missing from the description or missing drawings voluntarily or subsequent to an official invitation within two months from the date of application or the invitation, the date of submission shall be considered the date of filing unless the submission is based on a priority document. The date of filing shall be the original date of application, if the applicant – despite an official invitation - does not submit new parts of the description or drawings or withdraws the submitted application within one month from the date of notification on modifying.
Where the documents making up the utility model application have been prepared in a foreign language, the utility model description with the claims, the abstract and the drawings shall be filed in Hungarian language within four months after the date of filing, failing which the application shall be considered withdrawn.
If, either on filing or as result of a correction, a utility model application complies with the requirements prescribed for according a date of filing, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter referred to as the Office) publishes in its official journal (Gazette of Patents and Trademarks) the following data of the utility model application: the name and address of the applicant and the eventual representative, the reference number of the application, the title of the utility model, the filing date and the date of priority where the latter is different, the country and filing number of the previous application.
If a utility model application satisfies the requirements prescribed for according a date of filing, the filing and search fee has been paid, as well as the description and the drawings have been filed in Hungarian language, the Office examines whether the application, satisfies the prescribed formal and substantive requirements. In the case of defects revealed during examination as to formal requirements, the Office invites the applicant by a decision to correct the defects and continues the procedure on the basis of the correction. Where the applicant does not reply to the invitation to correct the defects within the fixed time limit, the application shall be considered withdrawn.
A utility application may not be amended in such a way that, by introducing a new subject matter, it contains a subject matter, which extends beyond the content of the application at the date of filing. Subject to this limitation, the applicant shall be entitled to amend the description, claims and drawings until the decision on the grant of utility model becomes final. The request for amendment is subject to the payment of a fee (see point 2 of the Schedule of Fees). The applicant may file a new application claiming internal priority within twelve months from the date of filing.
The time limits prescribed by the Utility Model Act shall not be extended. Failure to comply with them shall involve legal consequences without notice. Unless excluded by the Act, a request for restitutio in integrum may be submitted within two months of the unobserved time limit, if the failure has occurred through no fault of his own, submitting at the same time the omitted action. Where the failure to comply became known to the party subsequently or the cause thereof was removed subsequently, the time limit shall be reckoned from the date on which the failure to comply became known or the cause thereof was removed. A request for restitutio in integrum is only admissible within twelve months of the time limit not complied with.
Time limits set by the Office can be extended with more than two, but maximally four months upon a request submitted before the expiration thereof. In special cases, extensions several times or extending to more than four, but maximally to six months.
This request is subject to the payment of a fee (see point 3 of the Schedule of Fees).
In the case of failing any set time limit, the continuation of the procedure may be requested within two months of the communication of the decision made because of the failure, submitting at the same time the omitted action. This request is subject to the payment of a fee (see point 7 of the Schedule of Fees). If the unobserved time limit has related to payment of fees, the fee of the request shall be paid in addition to this fee.
In a utility model application, protection may only be sought for a single utility model. If the applicant has claimed utility model protection for a group of models in one application, he shall divide his application. The request for division is subject to the payment of a fee (see point 4 of the Schedule of Fees). The fee shall be paid within two months from the filing of the request for division.
If the utility model application meets all the requirements of the examination, the Office shall grant a utility model protection. In the decision, the Office indicates the amount of the maintenance fee to be paid (see point 11 of this Guide). The description and the drawing do not appear in a printed form. After the grant of the utility model protection, the Office issues a certificate of utility model protection enclosing the description and the drawing and together with the decision on grant sends it to the holder.
After the grant of utility model protection, utility model application can be inspected by anybody and copies thereof can be given against payment of a fee.
Definitive utility model protection has a term of 10 years beginning on the filing date of the application.
10.1. The amount of annual fees payable during the term of utility model protection and the mode of their payment are contained in point 8 of the Schedule of Fees. The fees shall be payable to the account of the Office, with the indication of the reference number and the registration number and the destination. Payments without a reference number or a registration number shall not be valid.
10.2. The annual fee for the first year is due on the filing date and the fees for the subsequent years shall be payable in advance on the anniversaries of the filing date. The annual fees which become due before publication shall be payable within a period of grace of six months from the date when the grant of utility model becomes final, and the other annual fees shall be payable within a period of grace of six months from the due date. The annual fees shall be payable without a surcharge in the first three months of the six months grace period and from the fourth month of that period with a surcharge of 50 per cent. The holder shall provide for the payment regularly and in due time even without a special notice of the Office.
10.5. The Office may grant a deferment of the annual fees due for the first to the fifth years if the holder cannot pay them because of his wages, income and financial standing. The fees subject to the deferment shall be paid together with the annual fees for the sixth year.
10.6. Annual fees paid more than three months before the starting date of the period of grace, as well as the fees paid in a smaller amount than prescribed in the case of the lapse of utility model protection shall be refunded by the Office on request.
Restoration of utility model protection lapsed by reason of failure to pay annual fees may be requested within three months following the expiry of the six months period of grace. Within that period, the double of the annual fee due for the year in question shall be paid (see point 9 of the Schedule of Fees). In the case of the refusal of the request for restoration, the fee for the request shall be refunded by the Office on request.
Utility model protection shall lapse:
- when the period of protection expires, on the day following the date of expiration;
- if the annual fees have not been paid, on the day following the due date;
- if the owner of the utility model protection surrenders the protection, on the day following receipt of the surrender, or at an earlier date specified by the person surrendering the protection;
- if the utility protection is declared null and void, with retroactive effect to the filing date of the application.
Utility model protection shall be considered lapsed, with a retroactive effect to its filing date, when a patent is granted for a patent application
- derived from the utility model application;
- from which the utility model application has been derived.
* based on Act No XXXVIII of 1991 on Utility Model Protection, in a consolidated form with the interim amendments