TR Monitor

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

- BY HAKAN GULDAG, VAHAP MUNYAR, SEREF OGUZ

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.”

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