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Registrability of the word VARIO

* With kind permission of Danubia Patent & Law Office, Member of the Hungarian Group, on the homepage of which the following case has been published.

Protection of the international mark VARIO, registered for classes 6 and 19 insulating glass system with metallic fixing pieces was refused by the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office for lack of distinctivity.

The applicant, represented by Danubia requested review with the Metropolitan Tribunal. He stated first that the term VARIO is not used in Hungarian as an alone-standing word, only as a word element. He stated also that it was harmful that the Office disregarded that the branded product is also protected by a European patent (double vitrage) of which it is the symbol.

The Tribunal annulled the decision of the Office and ordered a new procedure.The Tribunal established that in the Hungarian dictionaries the term VARIO is neither referred to nor defined, moreover in respect of the rules of Hungarian orthography it cannot be used as element of a word, only as an anterior constituent.

The Office repeated the examination procedure and referring to the Tribunal’s decision, decided to grant the mark the protection of in respect of Hungary.

(3.Pk.21.044/2014)

Comments

Though the result is satisfactory, I regret that the Tribunal dealt only with the grammatical aspect of the case. In my mind it would have been interesting to deal also with correlation between the patent and the mark considering that the mark is used as a symbol for the invention.

Dr. A. Vida