PETOŠEVIĆ PEOPLE: Q&A with Balázs Csányi

The head of our Hungary office, Attorney at Law Balázs Csányi joined PETOŠEVIĆ in 2017 after spending eight years at another Hungarian IP firm. Balázs mostly handles trademark prosecution and enforcement, as well as domain dispute litigation and other Internet-related IP issues. We asked Balázs about his work, his hobbies, his favorite food, and much more.

  1. How did you start your career in the IP field?

    I was attending a graduate training in Information and Communications Technology Law (it also covered a lot of IP issues) at the University of Pécs between 2007 and 2009. It was a fairly small group of people (there were only 12 of us) and we all became good friends. One of the guys told me that his employer was seeking new candidates interested in IP, and that he could pass my CV to the HR department. It turned out that his employer was the biggest IP law firm in Hungary. I spent almost nine years there. This is how it started.

  2. What makes IP protection challenging in Hungary and the EU? How do you overcome that challenge?

    The biggest challenge is the changing legal environment, the ever-changing regulations that require constant vigilance (hello, Prof. Moody!) and development from lawyers. Most of the Hungarian basic laws have changed in recent years, we have a new Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Criminal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Labor Code, etc. Everything we learned at university had to be re-learned for the bar exam and now once again. It is back to the salt mines all over again, but as they say: “The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.”

  3. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

    I like managing multiple tasks and various legal and non-legal projects. Also, preparing a legal opinion in difficult cases is somewhat like solving a mystery (in some cases you need special skills as well, such as divination or mind-reading).

  4. What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?

    I almost went to an art high school with my cousin. She went on to the University of Fine Arts and now she is working as a graphic designer. Sometimes I feel that creating something of imperishable value is what I really miss as a lawyer (though trademarks can be renewed for eternity, but this is not the same).

  5. What was the first job you’ve ever had?

    I worked while attending the university and had to change jobs frequently as the employers usually did not like it when I was not around during the exam period. First I worked as a shoe shop assistant, and then as a sports shop and wholesale manager. I also worked as an interpreter and in a company dealing with plastic door and window installation. Oh, I also worked in a company whose main business was operating slot machines, where I dealt with foreign trade, mainly ordering components and spare parts from Japan via phone and email (“Moshi Moshi”, if you know what I mean…).

  6. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

    Being with my family. Riding my bike. Going for a run. Fixing my kids’ broken toys. Watching movies. Cooking. Just the usual stuff.

  7. What book did you read last?

    Usually I do not like to read after working hours. I call it ‘letter disgust’. But I listen to English audiobooks a lot, on my way to work (if it is too cold for biking) or while I am at home. It refines my English and it is also good that I do not need any light for ‘reading’, so I do not bother anybody. I have several favorites, I listened to the whole “Harry Potter” saga read by Stephen Fry a dozen times already (it is truly a masterpiece, Mr. Fry not only reads the books, but uses different voices for each character, so it is almost like a one-man radio play). But back to the question, I have now just finished the “Restaurant at the End of the Universe” by Douglas Adams (read by Martin Freeman).

  8. What is your favorite song/music at the moment?

    I do not know, I do not listen to such things nowadays. What I hear most of the time are children’s songs, “The Wheels on the Bus” is always on our YouTube playlist.

  9. What is your favorite dish of all time?

    Meat, meat, meat. As someone once said, “I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain just to be a vegetarian.”

  10. If you could meet anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would it be and why?

    Prince (Rogers Nelson). I am a huge fan of his music and work, may he rest in peace.

  11. What was your favorite subject in school and why?

    Hungarian literature. We have a very expressive and wonderfully diverse language. The disadvantage is that no one can pronounce (or spell) my name properly.

  12. What did you want to be when growing up?

    A lawyer. Since I was ten.

  13. Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.

    I have a wine expert qualification. I have more than 20 wristwatches. I keep a (fully functional) beautiful custom-made vintage carbon bike on my living room wall as an ornament.

  14. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

    Flying (windsurfing gives a very similar feeling at its best, but it is still not the same).

  15. What is your biggest frustration about the world around you?

    Plastic waste. We are drowning in it and no one cares. Please be responsible, and think about the five R’s of Zero Waste: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot. Let us leave a usable planet to our children.

  16. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

    “There is no such thing as child-rearing, it actually does not exist. There is only your self-identical and effective coexistence with your children. The child takes out from you who you are, not what you preach to him/her.” This is a quote by the psychologist Dr. Tamás Vekerdy.

  17. What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?

    Do not worry buddy, all will be fine… Yeah, and quit smoking right now!

  18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

    I was born in a small town almost precisely halfway between lake Balaton and Budapest called Székesfehérvár (please see question 11 above), during university I lived in Pécs and since 2005 in Budapest. So, only in Hungary and I think it will stay that way.

  19. If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?

    If I must choose, maybe it would be Estonia. We have distant relatives there, so they say.

  20. If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?

    There are plenty of beautiful places to visit in Budapest: the Citadella, all the bridges of the Danube, Gellért Hill, the House of Parliament by the riverside, and the viewpoints of the neighbouring hills (Elizabeth Lookout Tower, Hármashatár Hill Lookout Tower, Normafa hilltop parkland, etc.). If the visitor is into nightlife, I would take them downtown after nightfall, e.g. to the Akvárium Klub venue.

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.