Turkey IP Development

In the area of protecting Industrial Property Rights, Turkey has entered into Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Madrid Protocol, Nice Agreement, Vienna Agreement, Strasburg Agreement (IPC), Trademark Law Treaty (TLT), EPC and World Trade Organization (WTO) since October 10, 1925. Turkish Patent Institute is the national industrial property offices regulating patents, trademarks, industrials designs, geographical signs, and the like. Copyright offices include Directorate General for Copyright and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Patent application in Turkey is conducted under the “Decree Law No. 551 Pertaining to the Protection of Patent Rights” which has been in force as of June 27, 1995 and implementing provisions.
Furthermore, Turkey has been a member of the European Patent Organization since 2000.
The definition of the Patent includes novelty, surpassing the State-of-the-Art and being applicable in industry.
Protection of the rights by this aforementioned law is available for natural and legal persons who are domiciled or who have industrial or commercial establishments within the territory of the Republic of Turkey, or to the persons entitled to file applications under the provisions of the Paris Convention.
Inventions which are contrary to public order or to morality or belong to plant and animal varieties are not patentable. Pharmaceuticals can be patented in Turkey since 1999.
The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor or to his successor in title and shall be transferable.
Within 3 months after the search report has been notified, the applicant shall declare to TPI his opts for granting patent with (substantive) examination. After that, the Institute will examine application according to patentability requirements. If no declaration has been made within this period, the system for granting patent without (substantive) examination shall be deemed to have been retained.
Duration of Patent Protection
There are 2 types of patents with regard to protection period: 1. Patent with (substantive) examination; 2. Patent without (substantive) examination.
If a patent takes (substantive) examination after registration, it will be protected for 20 years; otherwise it will be protected for 7 years.
After the patent has been registered, the applicant should make payments for annuities until the term of the patent expires. This payment should be paid to the TPI every year parallel to application date of the patent.
Utility Model
The inventions should be novel and applicable in industry according to Turkish Patent Decree-Law to be protected by grant of Utility Model Certificate.
The right to apply for a utility model certificate shall belong to the inventor or to his successor in title and shall be transferable. The right holder may benefit from the same protection conferred to the patent holder.
The Utility Model Certificate is granted for a 10 years’ period beginning from the application date. This term shall not be extended.
Industrial Design
In Turkey, rights of Industrial Designs have been protected according to the “Decree Law No. 554 pertaining to the Protection of Industrial Designs” in force as from June 27, 1995. The classification of designs has been performed according to the “Locarno Agreement”.
The protection is granted to a new design with individual character. For complex product designs, it is protected when design is new and has individual characters. Design contrary to public order and general morality principles are not protected.
The trademark registration steps are performed by Turkish Patent Institute (TPI), according to Decree 556 of 1995, amended in 2004, and implementing provisions.
Trademarks which have not been registered yet are protected under the provisions of the Turkish Commercial Code concerning unfair competition. There are 4 types of applications, namely, trademark, collective, service and guaranteed marks. The trademark may include either word, device of the trademark or both of them. An application can be done by nationals of Turkey, persons from a country signatory of the Paris Convention or WTO members, persons who have domiciled in these countries and persons from countries which have reciprocity with Turkey.
A general examination of trademark is made by TPI and the examination result is declared within 4 to 8 months before the publication of the trademark application. If no opposition is received by TPI within 3 months publication period, the trademark will be registered. If any refusal of the application is received from TPI, it is possible for the applicant to make a response within 2 months after the declaration of the rejection for re-examination of the application. Normally, it takes a total of 8 to 12 months for a trademark to be granted.
Duration of Trademark Protection 
The protection of the trademark is granted for 10 years after the filing date and can be renewed for further periods of 10 years. The trademark owner has right to use the trademark, protect the trademark against use of similar signs, confusing signs, unfair competition, infringements of different elements or reputation of the trademark. After the grant of the trademark, the right holder is obliged to use the trademark within 5 years, otherwise it may be revoked. The trademark owner may transfer his rights or do licensing.

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