The Bill related to Industrial Property was approved on March 14th, 2016 by TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) Industry, Commerce, Energy, Natural Resources, Information and Technology Commission. The purpose of the Bill approved by the commission is to make a contribution to promote the technological, economic and social progress by means of protection of rights on trademark, geographical indication, design, patent, utility model and traditional product name. The changes made to protect the patent rights with the new regulations are discussed below one by one.

  • While patents may be granted to inventions with or without examination, the instrument of patent without examination is excluded from the new bill. Therefore, all inventions will be subject to a detailed examination.
  • While there was no right to object to the patents after its registration according to the Decree Law no. 551 concerning Protection of Patent Rights on patents, nullity claims can now be settled out of courts before TPE (Turkish Patent Institute) thanks to the new right to object after registration. Besides, with the Decree Law no. 551, there is no right to apply for a separate patent unless there is an objection to the integrity of invention but now there is a right to apply for an optional separate patent.
  • Any objections made to a published patent application would not be processed regardless of their reasonable grounds and the applicants would have the right to demand documentation anyhow. With the new decree law, objections made to the published patent should be processed by TPE. Thus, Patent applications can be canceled out of courts before TPE as a result of objections based on reasonable grounds. Other notable innovations regarding the patent rights include enabling objecting to granted patents for a period of six months after registration and therefore changing the procedure of filing a lawsuit to cancel the granted patent, providing a compensation period and a pay plan to prevent loss of rights which usually occur while paying the annual patent fees and bringing a regulation to reestablish the rights.
  • While there are no provisions regarding the biotechnological inventions in current Decree Law, the biotechnological inventions within the scope and biotechnological inventions out of the scope are expressed clearly in compliance with European Patent Convention and EU Directive no. 98/44.
  • In the current Decree Law on patents, there are no clear provisions regarding protection of initial and subsequent medical uses in the field of pharmaceutics but clear provisions regarding protection of initial and subsequent medical uses (indication patents) are introduced with the new decree law.
  • Another innovation is giving the right of ownership of the inventions of members of university to higher education institutions and giving at least the one third of the resulting revenue to the inventor in order to bring in the inventions to the economy by using corporate infrastructure of universities through patents and revealing the existing invention potential in universities. By giving at least the one third of the resulting revenue to the member of university, it is intended to promote invention activities of academicians. Giving the right of ownership of the inventions made as a result of public funded projects will make it easier to commercialize the inventions. In addition, a framework regulation of giving the ownership right of inventions in question to the party, which conducted the project and has a greater potential to commercialize the invention, is made to promote high levels of participation to the research and development activities supported by state institutions and organizations, and to promote collaboration between state institutions and organizations and business firms.

Apart from these, registration period is reduced from 17-42 months to 7-24 months by simplifying and shorten the process of granting a patent and a more qualified patent system will be adopted as a result of abolishing the system of patent without examination to significantly eliminate the disputes in market. In case of not complying with the durations given in the registration period, potential loss of rights owned by particularly the patent applicants and SMEs will be prevented by reestablishing the lost rights.

Consequently, all legal texts are gathered under a single decree law to create a simpler, but more executable statement. The processes of granting patents is simplified and accelerated compared to the regulations in Decree Law no. 551 so that the practical problems may be resolved.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.