- How long does a patent last and when does the protection start?
- How long does it take to grant a patent?
- Which Act governs the patent system in Turkey?
- What are the criteria of patentability?
- What types of inventions are not patentable in Turkey?
- Is there a grace period for patents in Turkey?
- Where can one find the information relating to published/ granted patent applications?
- In which language can a patent application be filed before TURKPATENT?
- What are the required documents for filing a patent application in Turkey?
- Is a Power of Attorney required to file a national patent application?
- When can the applicant claim priority?
- Does an applicant need a patent attorney to file a patent application?
- What happens if the fees are not paid in due time?
- Under what circumstances fees paid can be refunded?
- Is there any difference in the fees to be paid by an individual or a legal entity for filing a patent application?
- How and when can an applicant withdraw a patent application?
- What are the routes to file a patent application in Turkey?
- How and when can an applicant file a continuation/divisional application?
- How and when can an applicant file patent of addition application?
- When is an application for a patent published?
- Is an accelerated examination available in Turkey?
- When can the request for examination be filed?
- How does the examination process for patents run?
- What happens when an applicant does not comply with the deadlines regarding the patent application process?
- Is it possible to convert a patent application into a utility model application?
- Can third parties challenge a patent during the pre-grant stage?
- When can third parties file a post-grant opposition?
- What are the grounds for filing post-grant opposition?
- Can a patent applicant/owner request for re-establishment of rights?
- Is it mandatory to obtain prior permission from TURKPATENT to file a patent application abroad?
- Is there any additional requirement for the filing of patent applications in respect of microbiological inventions?
- Is there any International Depository Authority in Turkey?
- Is it necessary to show the working of a patent after grant?
- How does the renewal process of patents work in Turkey?
- When is the payment of patent annuity fees due?
- Is there a grace period for late payment?
- Is it possible to revalidate a patent if the grace period to pay the annuity fee is missed?
- Is patent term extension available under Turkish Law?
- Can a patent be subject to a licensing agreement?
- Is it possible to grant or receive different types of licenses according to the degree of exclusivity to be granted?
- Can a licensee transfer her rights arising from the license or grant sub-licenses?
- Can a patent owner request for making an entry in the Registry that the patent is available for a license?
- Under which conditions can a patent be subject to a compulsory license?
- Does a licensee have the right to commence legal proceedings against an infringement?
- What are the required documents for the recording of licensing agreements in Turkey?
- Is it essential to notarize a licensing agreement?
- Is the framework of the responsibilities of the licensee and the licensor determined by law?
A patent lasts 20 years, starting from the filing date or the priority date.
The average time it takes to obtain a patent from the patent office is about 3 years in case of a smooth-running process.
The Industrial Property Code No.6769, which entered into force on January 10, 2017, governs the patent system in Turkey.
To be patentable, an invention should be:
- have an inventive step, and
- have industrial application.
The following categories of inventions do not qualify for patents:
- discoveries, scientific theories, and mathematical methods;
- plans, rules, and methods regarding mental activities, business activities, or games;
- computer programs;
- content with aesthetic quality, literary and artistic works, and scientific works;
- a presentation of information;
- inventions that are against public order or general morality;
- plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for producing plant or animal varieties, except for microbiological processes or products obtained as a result of these processes;
- any treatment method including diagnostic methods and surgical methods to be applied to the human or animal body;
- mere discovery of one of the elements of the human body, including a gene sequence or partial gene sequence, at various stages of its formation and development;
- human cloning processes, processes of changing the genetic identity of the human sex line, the use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes, genetic identity change procedures that may cause pain to animals without providing significant medical benefit to humans or animals, and animals obtained as a result of these processes.
The Turkish IP code provides a grace period of 12 months for patents from the date of application, or the priority date if a disclosure is made:
- by the inventor,
- by a competent authority in charge of patent applications,
- by a third party who obtained information directly or indirectly from the inventor.
The detailed conditions are provided under Article 84 of the IP Code.
The information relating to the patent application is published in the Official Patent Bulletin, which is available on the website of the Patent Office: https://bulten.turkpatent.gov.tr/bulten/
The filing documents can be submitted in any official language of the country that is a party to the Paris Convention or WTO Agreement or in any official language of the country which grants protection to Turkish residents under reciprocity principle. If the documents are filed in any language other than Turkish, then the translation thereof into Turkish should be submitted within 2 months from the filing date.
Following documents are required for filing a patent application:
- complete specification with description, claims, drawings (if any), and abstract;
- request to grant a patent;
- name and address of the applicant(s);
- payment receipt of the official fee.
No, a POA is not required for national patent application filings.
The applicant may claim priority for any subsequent identical application within 12 months, starting from the date of filing of the earlier application. The priority right can be requested within 2 months from the application date and the documents regarding this request, a certified copy of the priority document, and its Turkish translation should be submitted to TURKPATENT within 3 months from the application date.
Yes. Applicants who do not have their residence or principal place of business in Turkey must be represented by an authorized patent attorney.
If the fees regarding the granting or registration of an industrial property right are not paid in due time, the industrial property right application will be deemed to be withdrawn.
If the fees for transactions other than the granting or registration of an industrial property right are not paid in due time, the relevant request will be deemed to have not been issued.
In case of double or erroneous payments or overpayments, the applicant can receive a refund upon request.
No, there is no difference in the fees paid by an individual or a legal entity.
The applicant may withdraw his patent application at any time before the grant of the patent right under the condition that he proves the consent of third parties who have established a right on the patent application in the registry. So, the applicant may submit a declaration for the withdrawal of his application which is signed or sealed by all the applicants.
If a patent application is withdrawn before its publication, a new patent application can be filed for the identical subject matter.
There are three routes available for patent filings in Turkey:
- Paris Convention route (or direct filing),
- PCT route, and
- EPC route.
The applicant can file a divisional application based on a pending parent application. The divisional application can be filed before the publication of the grant of the application. The subject matter of the divisional application cannot extend beyond the disclosure of the parent application as filed.
An applicant can opt for a patent of addition in case of modifications or improvements, which lack an inventive step, are made to an invention. The protection period of the additional patent starts from its application date, and the patent of addition remains valid until the parent patent expires. Moreover, no renewal fees are paid for patent of addition applications. It is also possible to transform the patent of addition into an independent patent when a parent patent is invalidated. In this case, a request can be made within 3 months from the notification of the invalidity decision.
An application for a patent is published in the Bulletin upon the expiry of the 18-months starting from the application or the priority date. In addition, a patent application can be published before this period expires upon the applicant’s request for an early publication.
An acceleration request can be made for patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty before the expiry of 30 months.
The request for examination can be filed within 3 months from the date of notification of the search report by paying the relevant fee. It should be noted that the examination request cannot be withdrawn.
For the applications entering the national stage within the scope of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the request for examination can be filed within 3 months from the date of notification of the international search report.
Unless the request for examination is made in due time or the fee is paid by the expiry date stated above, the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.
- If it is determined that the application or the related invention does not comply with the provisions of the IP Code (novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability requirements), the applicant will be notified of the decision to present arguments and to make amendments provided that the amendments to the invention do not exceed the scope of the invention. Such notifications are repeated when deemed necessary up to 3 times.
- The applicant is given 3 months from the date of the notification to submit arguments or to make amendments. If no action is taken within this period, the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.
- If the examination report reveals that the application and the related invention comply with the provisions of the IP Code, a decision of grant will be issued, and a patent right will be granted upon payment of the registration fee.
In case the applicant does not comply with the deadlines for the processes regarding the patent application, the applicant may request the continuation of the proceedings by paying the prescribed fees within 2 months from the date of the notification of the legal consequences of the non-compliance. The request will be denied unless the fee is paid. The legal consequences of non-compliance will not be deemed to have occurred with the condition that the request is accepted.
Yes. It is possible to convert a pending patent application into a utility model application; however, a granted patent cannot be converted to a utility model application. A converted utility model application is deemed to have been filed on the filing date of the original patent application. When the request for conversion is made, the applicant should submit the required documents and request a search within 1 month from the date of notification by paying the prescribed fees. If the required conditions are not fulfilled within this period, the conversion request will not be deemed to have been submitted.
Any third party may present pre-grant observations regarding the patentability of an invention after the publication of the patent application. However, the person filing the observations may not be a party to the proceedings before TURKPATENT.
Third parties may file an opposition by paying the prescribed fee within 6 months from the publication of the decision to grant the patent in the Bulletin.
Third parties may file an opposition by putting forward at least one of the following reasons that the subject of the patent:
- does not meet the requirements of patentability,
- is not sufficiently explained according to the first and third paragraphs of Article 92 of the IP Code, and
- exceeds the scope of the first version of the application.
Yes, an applicant or a patent owner who does not comply with a deadline, despite the care required by the circumstances having been taken, may request for re-establishment of rights if missing this deadline leads to refusal of the patent application, the deeming of the application to have been withdrawn, invalidation of the patent according to Article 99 of the IP Code, or loss of any other right. The request for re-establishment must be submitted within 2 months from the removal of the cause for non-compliance, provided that it does not exceed 1 year from the expiration of the time limit which has not been observed.
No, it is not mandatory to obtain prior permission from TURKPATENT to file a patent application in a foreign country.
In addition to the general requirements for filing a patent application, for an invention that relates to or involves the use of biological material, the applicant is also required to deposit a sample of the biological material in an authorized depository established under the Budapest Agreement or recognized by the Agency on or before the date of application. The name of the depository authority and the accession number assigned to the biological material by this authority need to be addressed in the patent application. It should also be noted that if the subject matter of the invention is related to microorganisms, the patent protection starts from the date the microorganism becomes accessible.
No, there is not any International Depository Authority in Turkey.
A patent owner has to use the patented invention. The invention should be used within 3 years from the publication of the decision to grant the patent in the Bulletin or 4 years from the date of the patent application, whichever ends later. Technical, economic, or legal reasons, which may prevent the use of the patented invention, stemming from market conditions and conditions beyond the control and will of the patent owner are considered as justifiable reasons for not using the patent.
The patent owner may submit a statement that the patent is used or not used due to justifiable reasons to TURKPATENT within the period specified in the foregoing paragraph, which will be recorded in the Registry and published in the Bulletin. There is no direct legal outcome of not submitting this statement since it is not mandatory. However, patents that are not notified of their use within this period are published in the Bulletin, and this publication serves as an announcement for third parties to demand licenses over these patents and paves the way for compulsory licensing.
To keep a patent application or a granted patent in force, patent annuities (a.k.a annual fees, patent renewal fees) should be paid in advance each year throughout the patent protection period, starting from the third year from the date of application.
Renewal fees are due on the anniversary of the filing date. The earliest a renewal fee can be paid is 6 months before the anniversary of the filing date.
Yes, there is an additional period of 6 months after the due date to pay the renewal fees with a surcharge.
Yes, if a patent expires due to failure of the payment of the annual fee within the 6-month grace period, the patent can still be revalidated from the payment date of a compensatory fee. The respective compensatory fee must be paid within 2 months of receipt of the notification about the expiration of the utility model. It should be noted that the revalidation of the patent cannot interfere with third parties’ acquired rights who deserve such rights in consequence of the expiration of the patent right. Here, the third party’s rights and their extent are determined by the court.
No, patent term extension is not available under the Turkish IP Code.
Yes, according to Article 125/1 of the IP Code, a patent application or a patent may be subject to a licensing agreement.
Yes. Licenses may be granted as exclusive licenses or non-exclusive licenses. Unless
otherwise agreed on the contract, the license cannot be exclusive.
In the non-exclusive license contracts, the licensor may exploit the invention himself or may grant other licenses to third parties related to the same invention. An exclusive license means that licensor may not issue sub-licenses to third parties, and unless the right has been reserved, may not use the invention himself.
No. Unless otherwise agreed on the contract, a licensee may not transfer her rights arising from the license to third parties or grant sub-licenses.
Yes. According to Article 128/1 of the IP Code, “The patent applicant or the patentee may announce in writing to the Office that they will issue licenses to anyone willing to use the invention that is the subject of the patent. This offer shall be published in the Bulletin.” The license offer can be withdrawn at any time, and the withdrawal of license is also published in the Bulletin.
According to Article 128/1 of the IP Code, a compulsory license may be given in the presence of at least one of the conditions specified below:
- if the invention forming the subject of the patent is not used (Article 130);
- if the dependency of patent issues comes into question (Article 131);
- if the public interest comes into question (Article 132);
- if the exportation of pharmaceutical products comes into question due to public health issues;
- if the breeder fails to develop a new plant variety without infringing on a previous patent;
- if a patentee carries out activities distorting, hindering, or limiting the competition while the patent is used.
If the license received is an exclusive license, then the licensee can commence legal proceedings against an infringement. If the licensee has a non-exclusive license, the licensee may request the right owner to start the required legal proceeding with a notification. In case the right holder does not accept this request or does not file the requested legal proceeding within 3 months, the licensee will have the right to commence a legal proceeding.
The following documents are required for the registration and publication of the license in the Registry:
- request form;
- the licensing agreement stating the signatures and statements of the licensee and the licensor, the number of the patent application or the patent subject to the licensing agreement, the license period and license fee (if any), and the type of license;
- if the licensing agreement is in a foreign language, its Turkish translation approved by a sworn translator;
- payment receipt of the official fee;
Power of attorney is not required for the recording of licensing agreements.
No, notarization of a licensing agreement is not required.
Yes. The licensor should provide the necessary technical information needed for regular use of the invention to the licensee unless stated otherwise on the contract, and the licensee must take due precautions to prevent the classified information released to them from being revealed.