Patent Law in Turkey Key Developments and Predictions - 2020

In this year's report, we focus on the key aspects of patent litigation in Turkey, and the most important or challenging issues in Turkish Patent Law.

It has been three years since the Industrial Property Law, which combined different Decree Laws on specific IP rights, came into force. The fourth book of the Law introduces relatively new provisions regarding the patent system in Turkey that bring the national law into line with the European Patent Convention (EPC). Although it is too early for the implications of the new law to have come to light, working requirements and compulsory licensing remain the most questioned topics in terms of patent law.

While the mid-term and long-term implications of the new law are yet to be realized, IP law practitioners still agree that the most controversial issue is not the law, but the enforcement of it. There are twelve specialized IP Courts in Turkey; six in Istanbul, five in Ankara, and one in Izmir. Due to the recent changes as to the appointment of judges, most of these Courts are headed by a single judge who may have any number of years of IP experience, or none whatsoever. As these judges do not have any technical background, the decisions are heavily dependent upon Court appointed experts’ views. On the other hand, some of the judges now interpret the Discovery of Evidence applications more positively, and the two-layer appeal review introduced by the Civil Procedural Law is expected to lower the workload and raise the quality of the judgments. In 2019, the interpretation of the so-called Bolar Exemption for pharmaceutical products, the discovery of evidence and preliminary injunctions, the impact of EPO Opposition Proceedings as to national infringement, as well as validity proceedings, have been the most active and debated areas before the IP Courts.

This paper provides an outline of the key aspects of patent litigation in Turkey, and the most important or challenging issues in Turkish Patent Law. It is anticipated that Court decisions will cast new light on the many aspects of the provisions of law, especially in questioned areas.