The Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) has been appointed as an as an International Searching Authority ("ISA") and International Preliminary Examining Authority ("IPEA") under the Patent Cooperation Treaty ("PCT") at WIPO 56th General Assembly Meeting held in Geneva on 06.10.2016. There are currently 19 patent offices having this title.
In order to obtain such an authority, it is necessary to employ at least 100 experts with technical competence and foreign language proficiency to prepare search and examination reports with required PCT standards, to be able to access all documentation required for search/examination and to have a quality management system to perform the same completely.
The TPI, established in 1994, has met the minimum requirements for appointment as an ISA with more than 110 full time examiners carrying out search and examination, 47% of whom have MSc or PhD degrees or are candidates. Besides, it is planned to recruit 50 more examiners by the end of 2019. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) mentored TPI for the appointment process.
The TPI has a paperless office system and receives 95% of all applications online thanks to its improved IT infrastructure. Its entire archive has been transferred to an electronic environment and has been indexed for search purposes. All online services of governmental bodies are offered in one web portal. TPI has started accepting ePCT filings on 01.06.2015 as receiving Office and now almost 70% of the PCT applications have been filed through the ePCT system.
Between 1994 and 2005, all search and examination reports were prepared by partner ISA/IPEA offices, i.e. Austria, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and EPO (for search only) to which work was outsourced by Turkey. In 2005, TPI started to prepare search and examination reports with 10 examiners and in certain technical fields only; at that time, most of the reports had to be outsourced to the same partner offices. Over time, this partnership has greatly contributed to the improvement of search and examination experience and expertise of TR examiners. The search and examination capacity of TPI now covers all technical fields. As of late 2015, all search and examination work for all “domestic” applications has been preparing by TPI itself, by eliminating the need for outsourcing arrangements.