The patent protects the invention - interview on the occasion of the Hungarian Inventors' Day
"... The patents obtained and the temporary measures associated with them, and most of the lawsuit cases are related to different medicines, information technology and green technology."
13th of June is the Hungarian Inventors’ Day, which has been remembered by the Association of Hungarian Inventors (MAFE) since 2009 in the country. For this occasion dr. Tamás Csóti, Head of Council and judge of the Budapest-Capital Regional Court, was asked about industrial property protection, patent, and the Hungarian inventors today.
What does industrial property protection cover?
There are two groups of intellectual property rights: copyright and industrial property right. The basis for the distinction is that while copyright is created by the creation of work without an act of public authority, industrial property protection is created by the decision of the competent authority, which in Hungary is the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office. Industrial property protection includes trademark, patent, design protection and utility model.
What is the essence and the purpose of a patent?
The patent protects the invention, which is a new technical solution, industrially usable for a product or a process, based on inventive activity. Patent protection is given for 20 years, after this period the invention becomes a public good. The patent proprietor has the exclusive right to use his/her patented invention or to grant permission for it in favor of others. The essence of patent protection is that this holder keeps the temporary monopoly of it, and it allows for the patron to have the development investment returned.
What are the most typical cases of industrial property protection? What are the major issues that one should pay attention to, who want to have patent protection for his/her invention?
The majority of industrial property cases are connected with trademark infringement, but there is a growing number of patent cases as well, as there is a tendency of increasing the number of claims related to design. Most of the patent cases are connected to medicines, and it is also frequent to have cases involving information technology inventions. The enforcement of industrial property rights is generally a long process because defendants often initiate the annulment of the enforced law and this is in fact the preliminary question of the infringement claim. Therefore, the application of provisional measures is extremely widespread in this area, patent infringement proceedings are almost always preceded by a non-contentious proceeding for temporary regulations. Enforcement of patents’ rights, as well as obtaining the patent protection itself - require interdisciplinary knowledge. The need for the combination of technical and legal knowledge - which is special by itself - makes the area highly professional centered. Therefore, the costs of proceedings in the field of enforcement of patent law cases are usually extremely high. At the same time, in return, thanks to the specialized legal counsels and to the court, specialized because of its exclusive competence, it is also effective.
According to the experience, can it be felt whether the present inventors are active and if yes, in which areas?
The number of industrial property rights’ enforcement directly maps the current state of innovation, and the latter makes correlation in Hungary with the current situation of the European economy. The subject of the patent protected invention is a good indication of what the current – most innovative, research-oriented – industries are in the economy. It is no coincidence that the majority of obtained patents and the temporary measures associated with them, and most of the lawsuit cases are related to certain medicines, information technology and green technology.