Making sure infringers can pay damages


Imre Molnár

The Metropolitan Court in Budapest has ordered a security measure for the first time in a patent infringement proceeding, in order to secure the plaintiff’s pecuniary interests for the duration of the lawsuit.

The plaintiff, the owner of an already expired Hungarian patent, filed a court claim against the defendant, a Hungarian wholesaler of veterinary products, seeking a ruling of patent infringement and the return of the defendant’s unlawful enrichment.

The Metropolitan Court (of first instance) declared that the defendant had infringed the plaintiff’s patent and obliged the defendant to pay the plaintiff approximately HUF175 million (€617,000) and interest dating from the beginning of 2000, as well as approximately HUF6 million (€21,200) in legal costs. However, the decision is on appeal at the Metropolitan Appeal Court and therefore is not yet binding.

While the appeal proceeding on the merits is pending at the court of second instance, the plaintiff has submitted a motion to the Metropolitan Court asking for security measures against the defendant. The plaintiff argued that the 2009 balance sheet of the defendant—information that is publicly available in Hungary—suggests that it is unlikely to be able to pay the awarded compensation, interest and legal costs.

patent infringement, damages