"Made in Hungary" – How reliable is information about origin?

For the Hungarian economy, agriculture and the food industry are particularly important. Internationally recognised names such as Szeged Paprika, Tokaji Wine or Egri Bikavér not only shape the image of the country of origin, but also uphold the quality requirements of the products. They also offer considerable added value through protection in the form of collective rights.

The information on the geographical origin of the product used in the trade in the form of characters and labels can offer protection in the sense of a geographical indication of origin.

In Hungary, the protection of geographical information consists of three systems that exist side by side and can complement each other or exclude one another:

  1. national protection
  2. joint protection and
  3. international protection.

The case law in Hungary is primarily based on EU decisions; therefore, there are only a small number of Hungarian court decisions in this regard.

In the court order no. 2004.480, it was determined that the use of an original designation is available to anyone who offers a hospitality sector service in a certain geographical area, for whose designation the geographical indication of origin is used.

However, when using a geographical name, it must be taken into account that in certain word combinations, due to the risk of confusion, the legitimate interests of other competitors can be impaired and thus run counter to the requirements of business integrity.

Autor: Beatrix Fakó