The Turkish Patent Institute has now published a new draft with amendments on patent, trademark industrial design decree laws and the law on the establishment and functions of the Turkish Patent Institute on its website to keep pace with the national programme to comply with the European Union Regulations as well as recent developments worldwide, to eliminate the recent legal void in patent criminal enforcement after the invalidation of the related provisions in the Patent Decree Law 551 by the Constitutional Court.
Normally the common sense is to convert all the Decree Laws into Basic Laws with required additions and amendments. However, this is not possible due to the fact that there are several tens of laws waiting in the queue of the Turkish Senate for debate and it is very difficult for these to be passed as they include including several hundreds of articles, each of which takes extensive discussion
The pivotal changes in the draft are the inclusion of extensive content for biotechnological inventions, universities entitled as the owners of university inventions, re-introduction of patent anti-infringement provisions including list of illegal acts, penalties and security measures etc., and the cancellation of the “non-examined” patent system.
In accordance with the European Patent Convention, for patent applications the before-grant opposition system for third parties will be replaced with an after-grant opposition system. However, third parties are also allowed to file written observations against a pending application. Publication period will be reduced from 6 months to 3 months.
For utility model applications, third parties may also request a novelty search report for the applications they oppose to reduce the burden on IP courts especially for invalidation lawsuits based on the lack of novelty of the granted utility model.
In the new draft law, letters of consent for trademark conflicts will be allowed but only for group companies in order to overcome official rejections based on earlier trademark rights.
For industrial design applications, publication period will be 3 months and it will be possible for third parties to appeal the grant decision at any time.
Finally re-institution of the lost rights owing to missing due dates is being partly facilitated in exceptional cases. Application procedures will not be suspended upon an office action during the formal examination stages.
This draft is expected to bring important advances and facilitates some formalities after of course the approval of the Turkish Senate this year.