With the New Turkish Industrial Property (IP) Law No.6769 which has entered into force on 10 January 2017, the legislation with regard to the design proceedings has significantly changed;
One of the major amendments to the design rights regulated is that the “Industrial design” title renamed to “design” in order to broaden the scope of protection. Thus, a design may be subject to protection regardless of the industrial character of it.
Some of other notable changes are as the following:
- Registration process has been shortened to 3 months (from 6 months),
- Novelty search to be carried out for each design application at the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office,
- Among other rejection reasons, pursuant to the Law design registration applications which are not compatible with the definition of design or product; or which are against the public order and public morality; or not novel shall also be rejected by the Turkish Patent Authority,
- Design descriptions are no longer required and scope of protection will not be effected by such description if it is filed,
- No official fees for opposition proceedings against a published design application at the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office,
- The new law provides for the protection of unregistered designs for three years after they have become publicly available in line with Article 11 of the EU Community Designs Regulation,
- Only visible parts of a complex product shall be protected provided that they meet novelty and individual character criteria (in accordance with EU regulations),
- Some exceptions to component parts of a complex product eligible for three years’ protection for repair purposes by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology,
- Professors’ privilege removed: right to register a design crafted by scientific staff while at work deemed to belong to universities; thereby entitling scientific staff to claim for at least half of the income deriving from such design commercialization,
- Only civil proceedings are available for designs.
Upon completion of the required documents, Turkish Patent and Trademark Office examines whether the application complies with the formal standards set forth by the TPTO. The TPTO undertakes formal examination of the application regarding the number, the views, the dimensions and the clarity of the representations submitted as part of the application. If submitted, the TPTO also examines the specification and makes sure that it reflects solely the visual and novel characteristics of the design(s) concerned and prescribes that different views of the said design(s) be indicated in the specification. In case the application derives priority from an application already registered in a state party to to the Paris Convention, the TPTO examines the particulars of the Priority Application based on the Certified Copy of the priority document.
Once a design application application is filed and the formal deficiencies have been remedied, the TPTO accepts the application and a novelty search is carried out. If the design application fulfills the novelty and distinctive character requirements, it is published for possible oppositions of natural or legal persons, for a three month period starting as of the publication in the Official Designs Bulletin. An opposition, if filed, is not for the purpose of opposing a design but a design application.
In the event no opposition is filed within this three months during publication, an official notification regarding the registration decision of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office is received and the design registration certificate is issued which is to be checked and forwarded to you immediately upon receipt from the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. Protection survives five years as from the filing date and the proprietor of the design is entitled to prevent third parties from using identical or confusingly similar designs as long as the protection is valid. A registered design can be protected for a maximum term of 25 years on the condition that the extension fees are paid for consecutive periods of 5 years.
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