Patent Law in Turkey Key Developments and Predictions - 2021

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 more than four 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) to some extent.

While the medium 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 eleven specialized IP Courts in Turkey; five in Istanbul, five in Ankara, and one in Izmir. Due to the changes made by the appointment of judges, most of the current cases are headed by judges with limited experience in the field of industrial property. As these judges do not have any technical background to this end, the decisions are heavily dependent upon Court-appointed experts’ views. On the other hand, while it is expected that the two-layer appeal review introduced by the Civil Procedural Law will lower the workload of the courts and raise the quality of the judgments, it is observed that the appeal evaluation processes take longer, the appeal procedures are not shortened, and the content of the decisions has not changed much, as compared with the past. As well, in the past year, the interpretation of the so-called Bolar Exemption for pharmaceutical products, the assessment of 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 debated areas before the IP Courts in the field of patent cases.

With this paper, we are pleased to provide an outline of the key aspects of patent litigation in Turkey, and the most important and most controversial issues in Turkish Patent Law.