Preventing later infringement


Michael Lantos

The Metropolitan Court has ruled on a trademark infringement and issued an injunction prohibiting future use of a particular designation for which a pharmaceutical company obtained a MA from the Hungarian Regulatory Authority for an over-the-counter painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug.

The decision is not yet final—the parties have a right to appeal. The decision covers several issues. Chiefly, there is no prior decision prohibiting a potential (later) threat for infringement which is enabled by Article 27(2)(b) of the trademark law. This new decision will have broad significance for trademark jurisprudence in Hungary.

Here it will be assumed that the designation is confusingly similar to the plaintiff’s earlier trademarks. The court has established that there is a confusing similarity, therefore any use of the designation by the defendant would constitute a trademark infringement.

In the court proceedings, the defendant pointed out that the existence of an MA for the subject over-the-counter drug cannot be regarded as commercial use, therefore there can be no threat of infringement, since the defendant has not started manufacture and sale of the product. The MA is only a procedural status, which allows the company to start sale within five years from issue; it expires after five years unless extended.

trademark infringement, prevention, MA