Dear Colleagues,

Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary. It is the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transportation centre, sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. Budapest has 1,8 million inhabitants. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest’s World Heritage Sites include the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world. Budapest has more than 100 geothermal springs, the world’s largest thermal water cave system, the second largest synagogue and the third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 4,4 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world and the 6th in Europe.

Budapest is home to the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the European Police College (CEPOL) and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA). Eighteen universities are situated in Budapest including the Central European University, Eötvös Loránd University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Budapest also has an extremely rich and vivid cultural life, with many theatres, concert and opera performances.

As many of you know, Budapest has two sides separated by the river Danube: Buda and Pest. The name of our capital is formed from these two parts. Budapest has several bridges, each of them beautiful with many located in the city centre. Budapest is most recognized by tourists from the view of the river Danube where the bridges catch the eye. So we thought that if we wanted to find something unique about our city, it would be the bridges.

Since bridges always connect two sides, we made a nice symbol for you: trade marks as bridges connect people. In every meaning: they connect you and the product, you and other people. Trade marks reflect emotions and they surround everyday life. We are all fortunate to have a profession dealing with trade marks which reflect and symbolize human feelings. Maybe this is also one of the reasons why we love our profession.

As you can see from the professional programme, the theme of the conference includes presentations about these different connections. A trade mark is a bridge between the consumer and the producer. It is always the brand-name in which the quality of the product is realized and the brand-name also reflects the positive feelings we have towards a product. The workshop will cover the topics of trade marks and languages which is an important bridge in our profession. We will have a panel on the psychology and marketing of brands: how we build bridges with other disciplines. We organized a parallel session on mediation and arbitration: these excellent tools are bridges between two disputing parties. We have also “built other bridges” in the programme: a bridge between the past and the future, presenting the first year of the EU Trade Mark Reform; exciting bridges ahead about new technologies and IP rights; a complex bridge about designs-trade marks-copyright; virtual bridges about the EU Copyright Reform and the Digital Single Market Strategy; a bridge blown-up about the legal consequences of Brexit. Finally a bridge well built: is a review of the most important EUCJ trade mark cases in a special interview-format, and a bridge from bottom to top with the complex presentation of the decisions of the year.

Our symbol runs throughout the whole conference: in the conference logo, in the photos chosen and in the whole graphical layout of the Programme. Last but not least, the Budapest promotional film is just as if it had been filmed especially for us, so we are very happy to have found and purchased this very nice story and beautiful Hungarian song for ECTA. To crown it all, the story is based on world-famous Hungarian inventions, and shows pictures of bridges several times and the importance of human relationships. We can all state that feelings and emotions that surround trade marks are the same as what you have in your family and with your friends. Trade marks are actually all around!

As trade marks can be viewed from different aspects, we thought of composing the evening receptions also from a special “view” and from the concept of different vehicles just as in the film: you will have a trio of boat-horse-train. These three ways of transportation have always been important over the centuries in the Hungarian history. The Welcome Reception will take place on a boat on the river Danube. While you are listening to pleasant music on the decks set up in lounge style, you can view the fantastically illuminated sights of Budapest.

Horses also played a central role in Hungary not only at the ancient times, but also when Hungarians occupied the land where the Hungarian Kingdom was established. Hungarians often declare themselves as the “riding nation”. The venue of the traditional Thursday evening event will be in the Lázár Equestrian Park, situated 35 km from Budapest. The resort is a favourite destination for tourists who wish to discover genuine Hungarian hospitality. Guests will be seated in lodges of various styles where they can enjoy the best selections of Hungarian cuisine accompanied by Hungarian gypsy music. A fantastic horse show is the highlight of the evening, where guests can admire the show at night by the light of torches and camp-fires.

The Gala Dinner takes place in a historic Railway Park, unique in Europe where old engines and nicely furbished old trains can be admired. The evening will have a special theme: we will travel back in time as if we were on the Orient Express. We will have a lively evening inspired by jazz and dance performance in the Gatsby-style. Ladies, this is the right time to wear your black, red or glittering little dresses. We invited one of the best Hungarian bands to provide the right mood and music for a fantastic party.

While speaking of old vehicles, Hungarians are proud that the English word “coach” (a horse-drawn wagon) is named after the Hungarian village of Kocs where this type of vehicle (“kocsi”) was invented.

Apart from the fact that Hungary has given many renowned inventions to the globe, the hospitality and kindness of Hungarians is also well- known worldwide. Heartiness is reflected in the beautiful venues and in the world-famous Hungarian cuisine, wine and music. We encourage you to browse through the pages of this Preliminary Programme to read more about the places we recommend you to visit.

We look forward to welcoming you to our lovely city in June 2017 and hope you will have a memorable time exploring Budapest!

Ruta Olmane
President of ECTA

Judit Lantos
Local Organizing Committee

Katalin Szamosi
Local Organizing Committee