General information about design protection granting procedures
(by virtue of the modified Act XLVIII of 2001 on design protection)
1. Examination following the filing of the application
Following the filing of the design application, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (in the following: Office) examines whether the application is in conformity with the conditions prescribed for according the date of filing, i.e. whether it contains the reference to the right to design protection, the data suitable for identifying the applicant, the representation of the design, the description of the product according to the design or the reference to the priority document, as well as whether the filing fee was duly paid.
1.1 The date of filing
The Office notifies the applicant about the accorded date of filing. If the date of filing cannot be accorded, the Office invites the applicant to remedy the deficiencies within thirty days. In the case where the deficiencies are remedied on deadline, the date of filing will be the day when the remedy is received. In a contrary case the application shall be regarded as withdrawn.
1.2 Filing fee
All information about design filing fees are set forth in Clause 1 of the Table of Fees attached to the present information. The filing fee shall be paid to the budgetary account of the Office by indicating the reference number and the function. Payment without a reference number is not effective. The Office may permit exemption from the design filing fee if the natural person holder of the right is unable to cover it owing to his/her salary-, income- and financial situation.
Convention, exhibition and internal priority shall be applied for within two months calculated from filing the design application. The document establishing the convention priority and the certification of exhibition shall be filed within four months calculated from the day of filing. If internal priority is claimed, the earlier design application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
2. Examination as to formal requirements
If the design application satisfies the requirements prescribed for according the date of filing, the filing fee has been paid, the request, the design representation, the description of the design according to the product as well as other necessary attachments have been filed, the Office examines the application in order to establish whether the filed documents satisfy the prescribed formal requirements. If deficiencies are noted when examining the formal requirements of the design application, the Office invites the applicant in the form of a decision to remedy the deficiencies, and conducts the procedure on the basis of the remedy. Should the applicant fail to respond to the invitation to remedy the deficiencies by the set deadline, the design application shall be regarded as withdrawn.
3. Novelty search
If the design application satisfies the requirements prescribed for according the date of filing, the filing fee has been paid as well as the design representation and the description of the design according to the product have been filed, the Office shall carry out the novelty search and shall draw up a search report on the basis of the representation of the design. The search report shall mention those documents (designs, representations as well as data) which may be taken into consideration in connection with the design or design group represented in the design application upon considering the novelty and the individual character. The Office shall send the search report together with the copies of the cited documents to the applicant upon request and on payment of a fee.
If the design application satisfies the requirements laid down for according the date of filing and the filing fee has been duly paid, the Office shall carry out a substantive examination of the design application in order to ascertain whether it satisfies the requirements set forth by law.
In the course of the substantive examination of the design application the Office invites the applicant - according to the nature of the objection - to remedy the deficiencies, to submit comments or, as the case may be, to divide the application. The Office rejects the design application in whole or in part if it does not meet the examined requirements even after the remedy of deficiencies or the submitting of comments. If the applicant fails to reply to the invitation or to divide the application, he shall be deemed to have withdrawn the application or, after publication of the application, to have surrendered provisional protection.
5. Amendment - Internal priority
The design protection application may only be amended in such a way that its subject matter remains identical with the design presented in the application at the date of filing. Considering this restriction, the applicant shall be entitled to modify the application as long as the decision on the grant of the design protection does not become final. The request for modification is subject to the payment of a fee (see: Clause 2 of the Table of Fees).
The applicant may file a new application within six months calculated from the day of the original application by making use of internal priority.
If the applicant has claimed protection for several designs in a single application, he may divide the application as long as the decision on the grant of the design protection does not become final by retaining the date of filing and any earlier priority. The request for division is subject to the payment of a fee (see: Clause 4 of the Table of Fees). The fee shall be paid within two months from the filing of the request therefor. If the fee has not been paid even despite the invitation by the Office, the request for division shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
7. Time limits - Extension of Time limits - Restitutio in integrum
The time limits set forth by the Design Act may not be extended. The legal consequences of the failure to comply with them shall take effect without any separate notice. Where the Act does not prescribe a time limit, the extension of the time limit may be requested prior to the expiry of the time limit set forth in the invitation by the Office. The request is subject to the payment of a fee (see: Clause 3 of the Table of Fees). In matters of design protection, a request for restitutio in integrum may be submitted within fifteen days from the unobserved time limit or the last day of the unobserved period, unless it is excluded by law. If the client learned about the failure later, or the obstacle ceased to exist later, the time limit shall be counted from the date when the failure became known or from the date when the obstacle was eliminated. No request for restitutio in integrum may be submitted beyond six months from the unobserved time limit or from the last day of the unobserved period.
8. Grant of design protection
If the design and the design application meet all requirements of the examination, the Office shall grant protection for the subject matter of application after the expiry of at least one month from the date of publication. After granting the design protection, the Office shall issue a design protection certificate to the holder, to which the extract from the register shall be annexed, and the grant of design protection shall be announced in the Gazette of Patents and Trademarks.
10. Renewal of the design protection
The design protection may be extended for further five-year periods at most four times. In the case of renewal, the new period of protection shall commence on the day following the day of expiry of the previous period of protection. The protection may not be renewed upon the expiry of twenty-five years calculated from the date of filing. The request for renewing the design protection is subject to the payment of a fee (see: Clause 8 of the Table of Fees), and the said fee shall be paid within two months following the submittal of the request. If the renewal fee is not paid even despite the invitation by the Office, the request shall be considered as withdrawn.
The renewal of the design protection may be requested at the earliest six months prior to the expiry of the term of protection, and at the latest within six months calculated from the day of expiry.
11. Lapse of provisional design protection
Provisional design protection shall lapse with a retroactive effect to the date of filing if:
a) the design application is definitely rejected;
b) the applicant surrenders protection.
12. Lapse of definitive design protection
Definitive design protection shall lapse if:
a) the term of protection expired without renewal, on the day following the expiration of the term of protection;
b) if the holder of the design protection surrendered protection, on the day following the date of receipt of the surrender, or at an earlier date specified by him;
c) the design protection is declared invalid, with retroactive effect to the date of filing;
d) the term of protection expired (25 years), on the day following the expiration of the term of protection.