Approach to implementation 

The Hungarian legal provisions in relation to trade secrets were not coherent. Trade secrets and know-how were defined in the Hungarian Civil Code [Art 2:47 of Act 5 of 2013] as rights relating to personality. The Hungarian Criminal Code [Art 418 of Act 100 of 2012] punishes those who illegally acquire, use, disclose, publish trade secret or make it available to others (for financial gain or advantage or causing pecuniary injury to others). The Data Protection Act [Act 112 of 2011] also contains an exhaustive list which secrets cannot be categorized as trade secret. The Labour Code [Act 1 of 2012], the Unfair Market Practices Act [Act 57 of 1996] and the Public Procurement Act [Act 143 of 2015] also contained provisions relating to trade secrets.

In order to implement the Trade Secrets Directive, the Government elaborated a draft bill on the protection of trade secret (“Trade Secret Act”). The new Trade Secret Act contains the general provisions on trade secrets including the definition of trade secret, the right to trade secret, the exceptions, the violation of the right to trade secret and sanctions. Furthermore, it contains the special rules of the civil proceedings on unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secret. Lastly, the Trade Secret Act modifes several other acts which refer to trade secret.

Stage of legislative process 

The provisions of the Trade Secret Act implements the rules of the Directive. On 7 November 2017 the Government submitted the draft of the Trade Secret Act to the Parliament. On 20 July 2018 the Hungarian Parliament passed bill No T/386 implementing the TSD which was published in the Hungarian Official Journal on 31 July 2018 as Act 54 of 2018 on Protection of Trade Secrets. The new act is applicable as of 08 August 2018.

 
Timescale for implementation 

Implementation completed

Noteworthy points arising from the legislative changes 
  • Trade secret is no longer a right relating to personality, therefore Art 2:47 of the Civil Code is repealed. Trade secret enjoys a special protection granted by the Trade Secret Act and based on the logic and sanction system of intellectual property protection. The provisions of Civil Code apply generally to those questions which are not regulated by the Trade Secret Act.

  • The Trade Secret Act contains the special rules of the civil proceedings on unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secret, and the provisions of the Code on Civil Procedure (“CCP”) [Act 130 of 2016] are subsidiary in these civil proceedings. According to the Government implementing these provisions to the CCP would have been contrary to the regulatory concept and nature of the CCP. The Regional Courts have jurisdiction in proceedings relating to trade secrets.

  • In the past both the Civil Code and the Unfair Market Practices Act could serve as a legal basis in case of violation of trade secret. Under the new Trade Secret Act, the Unfair Market Practices Act does not address protection of trade secrets anymore, as these are now protected uniformly by the new Trade Secret Act.