Enforcing industrial property rights
Under the terms of its Customs Union with the EU, Turkey began harmonising its industrial property rights with EU norms. As part of this process, legislation relating to patents, industrials design, and trademarks was reviewed and updated accordingly. However, in its reports on Turkey’s accession progress, the European Commission identified a number of shortcomings in implementation, particularly regarding the quality of decisions by the Turkish Patent Institute and the functioning of specialised courts in trademark cases.
The project’s aims and core activities
The aim of this project was to strengthen Turkey’s alignment with EU norms on industrial property rights by improving the work conducted by the Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) and encouraging dialogue between relevant stakeholders.
This objective was achieved through a twinning project in which the TPI was acquainted with best practices in the EU and its member states. It resulted in a set of criteria for the examination of industrial property applications, and the creation of examination guidelines for patents, trademarks and industrial designs. In addition, the TPI’s software systems were modelled along the lines of those used in a partner patent office in a member state.
Moreover, judges, lawyers, and examiners involved in the field of industrial property rights were invited to participate in study visits to patent offices and specialised courts in a member state. In Turkey, an EU judge and examiner held a workshop for their Turkish counterparts that focused on sample cases involving national and international disputes.
A third aspect of the project sought to improve communications between the relevant stakeholders involved in industrial property rights, particularly the frontline enforcing agencies such as customs officials and police officers.