New Plant Varieties

– Independent plant variety protection has been established by Part V of Patent Law No. XXXIII of 1995, in force since January 1, 1996, as modified by Law No. XXXIX of  2002 (see “Patents of Invention“).

Membership in International Conventions

– International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), since April 16, 1983, 1991 Act since January 1, 2003.

Filing

Conditions for protection: novel plant varieties are patentable if the variety is distinct, uniform and stable. The plant variety should be identified by a denomination suitable for registration.

Distinctiveness: a plant variety is distinguishable if it differs from known varieties in the characteristics expressed by the given genotype or combination genotypes.

Uniformity: a plant variety is homogeneous if the aforementioned characteristics of its entities, with regard to its sexual or asexual propagatory properties, are identical.

Stability: a plant variety is stable if its aforementioned characteristics do not change after subsequent propagations or at the end of propagatory cycles defined by the applicant as described in the specification.

Novelty: a plant variety is novel if it has not yet been offered for sale or marketed, with the agreement of the breeder or his successor in title: (a) in the country earlier than one year, before the priority date, (b) abroad in case of vines and trees earlier than six years, in case of other plants earlier than four years before the priority date.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
The requirements listed for “patents of invention” should be fulfilled with the following modifications:

–   Description of the variety on a UPOV form;
–   Photograph;
–   DUS certificate according to UPOV form;
–   Provisional designation for the variety;
–   Declaration of novelty.

Examination

Preliminary examination: upon the filing of the application, the Intellectual Property Office will examine whether the minimum requirements for obtaining a filing date have been met, the application fee has been paid and a description of variety (at least provisional) has been filed in the Hungarian language. If it is found that the minimum requirements have not been complied with, the applicant will be given thirty days to fulfill them. If the requirements have been met, the essential data of the application will be published. 

Formal examination: if it is found that the requirements of the formal examination have not been met, the applicant will be notified and invited to remedy the defects within a prescribed term. If the formal requirements have been met, the application will be published after the expiration of eighteen months from the filing date. 

Substantive examination: distinguishability, homogeneity and stability have to be proved by the results of experimental tests (DUS certificate) as conditions for protection under the substantive examination. Results of experimental tests of other countries following UPOV guidelines can be accepted with the consent of the testing organization. Novelty has to be declared by the applicant. If during the substantive examination, it is found that that the conditions for protection have been met, a granting decision will be issued.

Granting, Protection

Effects of protection: the plant variety protection covers the production and utilization of propagatory material for purposes of commercial marketing. The whole plant, its seed or any other part of the plant, which can be used for propagation, shall be regarded as propagatory material. The plant variety protection does not cover the use of the propagatory material for scientific purposes or as starting material for the creation of newer varieties. 

Duration: for vines and trees, thirty years from grant; for other plants, twenty-five years from grant.

Community Plant Variety Protection

According to Article 92(1) of Council Regulation No. 2100/94, which is valid in Hungary from May 1, 2004, any plant variety, which is the subject matter of a Community plant variety right, shall not be the subject matter of a Hungarian national plant variety right. According to Article 92(2), where national right has been granted prior to grant of the Community plant variety right for the same variety, it will be considered invalid as long as the corresponding Community plant variety right remains effective.

Protection of Animal Breeds

The protection of animal breeds has been excluded by Law No. XXXIX of 2002.