FICPI-Turkey held a successful IP Law Seminar in October, at Yaşar University in Izmir, comparing European patent oppositions with Turkish oppositions, and looking at trade mark use and proof of use. Around 90 people attended the meeting.
On 25th October, during the “IP Law Seminar”, Dr.-Ing. Christian Wende and Serkan Özkan discussed patent opposition procedures. Christian is a member of FICPI-Germany and Reporter for FICPI CET 4 (Working Group for European Patents); Serkan is a Patent Examiner at Türk Patent under the moderation of Selda Arkan, who is a Board Member for FICPI-Turkey.
Christian explained how opposition matters are handled at the European Patent Office (EPO) and how the Opposition Divisions and the Technical Boards of Appeal are composed. Specific emphasis was given to the fact that technically qualified examiners or members of the Boards will always be part of an Opposition Division or the competent Board of Appeal. He also explained the meaning of “technically qualified” as being technically qualified with relevant background in the respective technical field.
Serkan then explained the new oppositions procedure, which is now codified in Turkish Patent Law, where the opposition proceedings (post-grant patent opposition) implemented in Turkey are more or less submission statements (i.e. purely paper-based with no hearing), which will not be exchanged among the parties and will not be implemented as true contradictory proceedings.
FICPI-Turkey is advocating for opposition proceedings which would be more like the EPO’s opposition proceedings This would involve the parties exchanging written submissions which include a full statement of facts, arguments and evidence, followed by a hearing where the parties can highlight aspects of their case and argue why they should prevail. At the end the Opposition Division announces its decision.
Trade marks and proof of use
Trade mark use and proof of use were discussed during the second session by Prof. Dr. Sevilay Uzunallı and Hüseyin Yılmaz, who is a trade mark examiner at Türk Patent, under the moderation of Uğur Aktekin, who is the Chairman of the Board of FICPI-Turkey.
FICPI’s view and involvement
At the international level, FICPI supports National Sections and groups through advertising their meetings, attending seminars and conferences and providing speakers from other countries. FICPI will also provide financial assistance for speakers and/or local costs if needed. FICPI also takes part in regular visits to National Patent Offices and shares Section news with the wider FICPI community. The IP seminar was a good opportunity for a CET 4 representative to travel to Turkey to share knowledge and experience about the European patent process and for FICPI-Turkey members and Türk Patent to share their insights.
The FICPI network allows IP Offices to share local practices and to call upon colleagues from abroad to help explain to their local Office how things are done in other countries, to give strength to their own desires for change.
Other national groups FICPI has supported this year include Russia, Sweden and Italy.