PROF. DR. HABIP ASAN,
President of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, Chairman of the Technical and Operational Support Committee of the European Patent Office
WHAT CONTRIBUTION DO PATENTS OR TRADEMARK REGISTRATIONS MAKE TO THE COUNTRY THAT INITIATE THEM?
Patent and trademark registrations are two important steps to produce, reproduce and distribute products and services in a way that will benefit and the rightful owner of a technology or innovation as well as society as a whole the society by protecting them from unauthorized imitations.
The patent system gives patent owners the right to prevent unauthorized production, sale, usage or import of the invention by third parties for a limited duration in the country where the patent is obtained on condition that the invention is announced to the public.
Only the patent owner is allowed to reap the economic benefits provided by the invention.
In addition, because patents provide property rights, they can be subject to commercialization activities as well as they can be traded like a commercial commodity. This enables franchising through licensing and gives recourse to the full range of legal and penal actions in case of imitation.
The patent is a tool promoting the production and dissemination of technology. It plays a key role in paving the way for industrialists, investors, and manufacturers to promote technological development.
The advantages provided by intellectual and industrial property rights for inventors are important to increase market share abroad. The protection and market power they provide in international competition is important. Technological innovation, patents, transfer of inventions to manufacturing and the marketing of these technologies to other countries are crucial. Trademark registration provides trademark owners exclusive power. Trademark owners can prevent usage of their trademarks by others if it they imitated or used without permission. Trademark owners can open cases and claim pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages for trademark infringement. Trademark owners can allow the usage of their trademarks through licensing and can transfer trademarks to others.
HOW DOES OUR PATENT AND TRADEMARK REG˹ ISTRATION SYSTEM COMPARE TO DEVELOPED COUNTRIES?
The initial legislative regulations were created in 1870s in Turkey. Great strides were made toward administrative, technical, and legislative regulations with the establishment of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TURKPATENT) in 1994. Turkey ranked 14th in patent applications globally in 2019, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), compared to its 43rd place 20 years ago. In terms of patent registrations, Turkey ranks 16th in the world, compared to 63rd place 20 years ago. Our ranking has gradually risen compared to developed countries as a result increased awareness of intellectual property rights and the Turkish Industrial Property Law that entered into force in 2017.
HOW DOES TURKPATENT COMPARE TO SIMILAR INSTITUTIONS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD?
TURKPATENT became a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 1996, thus joining a system that allows for applications to more than one country at the same time with a single application. Turkey has also been a party to the European Patent Convention since 2000. TURKPATENT was granted International Authority in the presence of the WIPO in 2016. We are now among the world’s top 10 authorities with the highest number of reports after increasing the number of international research and preliminary examination reports in 2020, alongside the European Patent Office (EPO), China, Japan, Republic of Korea, the U.S., Russia, Canada, Australia and India. The top 20 institutions with the highest number of international patent applications in the world are created by 17 high income countries, as well as three middle-income countries - China, India, and Turkey - according to the World Intellectual Property Indicators report. The share of female inventors is another important statistic in the country ranking. Turkey ranked 4th with a 19.3% share in 2020.
Turkey received 99.7% of all applications online in 2020, ranking it at the top of this digitization indicator alongside Israel, Singapore, and the U.S. TURKPATENT is among the leading industrial property institutions in the EPO. I’ve been acting as the Chairman of the EPO’s Technical and Operational Support Committee for a very long time. Turkey is a party to 21 international agreements including regulations in intellectual and industrial property field managed by the WIPO. We are among the WIPO’s Group-B members.
HOW DOES TURKEY COMPARE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD IN TERMS OF PATENTS AND TRADEMARKS?
Turkey’s patent potential has started to develop at universities and patent activities have increased at higher education institutions after the Industrial Property Law entered into force in 2017. Turkey ranks 6th in design applications, 8th in trademark applications and 14th in patent applications as well as its place among the top ten countries in terms of general performance, according to the WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators report. An Increasing number of patents and trademark registrations is an important indicator of sustainable development and reflects Turkey’s industrial and technological development.
Although industrial property applications declined in many countries due to COVID-19, Turkey’s patent applications rose by 1%, domestic utility model applications increased by 23%, trademark applications surged by 27% and design applications increased by 7% in 2020, compared to the previous year. 1,705 international patent applications, 1,885 international trademark applications and 524 international design applications were made in 2020 from Turkey. Turkey ranked 11th both in international patent and trademark applications and 10th in international design applications.
“An increasing number of patents and trademark registrations is an important indicator of sustainable development and reflects Turkey’s industrial and technological development.”