Hungary

Overview

UP 

Yes

UPC 

Yes

Status of ratification

No.
In 2015 the Ministry of Justice prepared the ratification bundle including not only the UPC Agreement but also amendments of other laws (Code of Civil Procedures, Patent Act, Act on Judges and Act on Courts etc.). Governmental Decree No. 1714/2015 published on 5 October 2015 authorised the Minister of Justice to assess the final wording of The Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on Provisional Application. The draft law on ratification was expected by the end of 2015 but this was eventually not submitted to the Parliament as in the meantime the Government raised concerns regarding the compliance of the UPCA with the Fundamental Act (Constitution) of Hungary. On 26 June 2018 the Constitutional Court made its decision and basically confirmed the concerns of the Government. This means that the ratification is delayed until further actions of the Government. For further information please refer to ‘Other UP matters of interest’ below.

Local or Regional CFI 

Before the decision of the CC Hungary has apparently planned a regional CFI in cooperation with Slovenia and Croatia. Although Hungary may also establish a local division, if the previous plans to form a regional CFI do not go ahead - the decision is still to be made.

Location/Venue of CFI

Budapest

Judges 

No information as yet. Budapest is the location of the training centre for the UPC judges.

Languages 

The official languages of the Member States of the regional CFI (if it happens): Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian and English. In case of a local division: Hungarian and English.

UP/UPC implementing legislation

See above in ‘Status of ratification’.

Other UP matters of interest 

"On 10 April 2014 PwC published an impact assessment on the implications of the UPC system in Hungary. On 18 July 2017, the Hungarian Minister of Justice, acting on behalf of the government, requested the Constitutional Court of Hungary to express its opinion on the constitutional concerns related to the ratification of the UPC Agreement. The fundamental question is whether the ratification should be realised having regard to the transfer of sovereignty in the EU or the UPC Agreement should be treated as a traditional international treaty. Since the ratification would result in major changes in the court system of Hungary and both of the possibilities would raise further constitutional concerns, the Government requested the Constitutional Court to express its detailed opinion on how to ratify the Agreement in compliance with the Hungarian Constitution.

Consequently on 18 July 2017 the Government submitted questions to the Constitutional Court (CC). On 26 June 2018 the CC made its decision and basically confirmed Government’s concerns. In a nutshell, according to the CC, the UPCA cannot be ratified based on the provisions of the Fundament Act on traditional international treaties. The main concern was that decisions of the UPC will be completely excluded from the Hungarian system of legal remedies and constitutional review. The other option would be to ratify the UPCA based on the provisions of EU law but in relation to this the CC suggested that separate international treaties concluded within enhanced cooperation are unlikely to qualify as part of EU law. It is now for the Government to assess whether or not the ratification of the UPCA is possible under the provisions on EU law or would the amendment of the Fundamental Law be necessary in order to ratify the UPCA.

Therefore we do not expect any progress in the ratification procedure before the Government makes a strategic decision on how to proceed.

Related links

Request of the Government for interpretation of the Constitution (in Hungarian)

The Hungarian Constitutional Court decides the proclamation of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court is not compatible with the Fundamental Law

http://public.mkab.hu/dev/dontesek.nsf/0/fd1f9b7e8c54e0d7c1258162002ecc58/
$FILE/9_2018%20AB%20hat%C3%A1rozat.pdf

Twobirds contact 
Bálint Halász