István Apáthy (1829-1889), former president of the University of the Sciences in Pécs and a renowned law scientist himself, was also one of the most prestigious codifiers of the second half of the 19th century. He became famous in the legal community as a pioneering expert in the laws of commerce and bills of exchange in Hungary, while he also gained everlasting merits in the field of copyright.

Amongst other achievements, he is credited with drafting the provisions pertaining to publishing contracts in the 1875 Code of Commerce, as well as with submitting to Parliament the first Hungarian Copyright Act in 1884. These legal instruments were based upon still valid principles of intellectual property and achieved progressive codification of relevant laws.

With the aim of preserving the spiritual legacy of István Apáthy, the Hungarian Copyright Forum, jointly with the Hungarian Patent Office, regularly invite applicants to compete for the Apáthy-Award, a contest for law students for the best copyright essays of the year.

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