The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) extended its means of electronic communication as of 1 March 2011. Now, nearly all kinds of communication are available electronically.

Until recently, the e-filing system of HIPO has accepted only trademark applications and renewals, ie, only the first step of the proceedings, in an electronic format. All other communication with the HIPO had to be submitted in hardcopy.

As of 1 March 2011, it is possible to process all communication with the HIPO in an electronic format during the entire proceedings in nearly all trademark matters. Beyond the filings for new trademark registrations and the renewal of existing trademarks, it is now possible to request trademark excerpts, accelerated proceedings and to review the files of the HIPO online. Changes in the registered information (ie, name, address and name of the representative of the trademark owner) may also be reported to the HIPO in this new way. Moreover, the HIPO will inform parties about its decisions in electronic form and the system has now become capable of sending official excerpts of the trademark registry in a secured electronic format.

Until now, the paper based register was the only official source in respect of trademarks. You could only be sure that the given right was registered, by going to the HIPO in person to inspect the handwritten register or ask for an excerpt. Previously the online register was unofficial and contained the relevant information with a 2-3 month delay. The online register has now been turned into an up-to-date official public register, from which excerpts can be requested also from remote locations.