Turkey acceded to the UPOV Convention -as revised at Geneva on November 10, 1972, on October 23, 1978, and on March 19, 1991- on the 18th of November, 2007 and adopted Law No: 5042 Law on Protection of Breeder's Rights of New Plant Varieties1 as well as the secondary regulations on the subject. This article outlines the breeder's rights regulations in Turkey.
- Registration of PVR
The registration of plant variety rights in Turkey consist of three stages:
a.Application and Preliminary Examination
Applications should be filed with General Directorate of Plant Production. All applications must be in Turkish. Those supporting documents that are in foreign languages must be translated in Turkish language. The preliminary examination is conducted on documents and if the application is in accordance with the formal requirements, the application will be accepted for further examination. If any corrections or additional information or documents are needed, the applicant is notified and given additional time to do corrections or submit additional information or documents.
During the substantial examination stage, the following will be reviewed:
- Whether the novelty criterion is met,
- Whether the applicant has the authority to file the application,
- Whether the name of the variety is chosen in accordance with the requirements of the regulation.
Varieties that have passed the substantial examination are given an application number and are registered at the log. The extracts of the applications are published in the variety Bulletin issued by the Ministry within one month following the registration at the log. Objections to the applications may be filed within three months as from the publication in the Bulletin based on the grounds that the variety in question does not fulfil the condition of novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability or applicant is not authorized to file the application or the name of the variety is not chosen properly. Objections are sent to the applicants for responding within three months which can be extended with an additional period of two months in maximum. If the applicant does not respond, the application shall be deemed withdrawn. If the applicant respond, the response is sent to the objecting party and if they insist on their objection and if the objection is related to the novelty or name of the variety or the authority of the applicant, the General Directorate of Plant Production conducts examination on those issues. If the objection is on the grounds that DUS criteria are not met, such examination is conducted during the technical examination.
If a technical examination is conducted in a UPOV member, which has climatic conditions similar to Turkey, and the technical report issued by such member country is submitted to the General Directorate of Plant Production, the technical examination can be based on such report. If no such report can be submitted, the General Directorate of Plant Production will examine the distinctness, uniformity and stability of the variety. The Directorate may appoint testing institutions to conduct the technical examination.
If following the examinations, the application is accepted, the breeder right is registered and a certificate of Breeder's Right is issued to the applicant. The registration is published at the Bulletin. The decision of the Directorate of Plant Production may be challenged by third parties before the Ministry within 30 days as from the publication at the Bulletin.
- Requirements for protection
The variety must be novel and satisfy DUS. The name chosen for the variety must be in line with the provisions of Law No: 5042 Law on Protection of Breeder's Rights of New Plant Varieties and the Regulation on Protection of Breeder's Rights of New Plant Varieties. The period of protection is 25 years as from the date of registration. Usage of protected varieties for scientific research activities and trials or for noncommercial activities that are within the limits of personal use is not restricted.
Usage of propagation material of a protected variety (excluding any hybrids) by farmers for breeding and production is permitted provided that the production is made in the farmers' own field without any restriction. Only small farmers' that are defined in the regulations can benefit from the farmer's privilege.
- PVR owners' rights in the event of PVR infringements
The variety right holder may file civil and/or criminal proceedings . In the civil proceedings, the variety right holder may demand from the civil courts:
- to order the infringer to stop the infringement,
- compensation for damages,
- confiscation of the propagation materials and equipment or facilities directly used for production,
- disposing of the confiscated materials or delivery of such material to the variety right holder,
- publishing the court order to public.
Before or during the civil action, the variety right holder may demand temporary injunction against the infringer and ask for the immediate order to stop infringement and confiscation of materials related to the variety.
In additional to the civil actions, criminal actions may be brought against the infringer which may result in fines or imprisonment.
1. Law No: 5042 Law on Protection of Breeder's Rights of New Plant Varieties published in the Turkish Official Gazette dated 15 January 2004 numbered 25347.