Breaking the expert taboo


Imre Molnár

The Appeal Court of Budapest is the second instance court in Hungary for patent revocation proceedings, which begin with a nullity request to the Hungarian Patent Office (HPO).

Parties can request an appeal against HPO decisions with the Metropolitan Court of Budapest—the first instance court in Hungary for patent matters. The Metropolitan Court’s decisions are supervised by the Appeal Court.

In one recent case, the request for revocation was filed against a patent covering the preparation of foodstuffs consumed by sportsmen to improve muscular performance. The technical problem addressed by the patent was that the active ingredient of the foodstuffs—a known compound—suffers from practical disadvantages. It is highly hygroscopic (becomes liquid by absorbing the air humidity) and has a very unpleasant, fish-like odour.

The patent aimed to solve the problem by using the compound in the form of a specific salt that does not have these disadvantages. However, the salt was already known prior to the patent’s priority, though without any reference to its properties when used as foreseen by the patent. The petitioner who instigated the nullity proceeding questioned the novelty and invention of the preparation process disclosed in the patent.

Patent revocation, foodstuffs