1. Intellectual Property Rights and Granting Procedure

 1.1 Types of Intellectual Property Rights

The Turkish legal system provides for “patents” and “utility models” for the protection of inventions. Both of these forms of protection are based on statutory law, they are regulated in the Industrial Property Code (IPC).

 1.2 Grant Procedure


After a patent application is duly and completely filed, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) conducts a procedural examination.

A priority claim either can made on first filing or two months from the application date.

If the TPTO determines that there is a deficiency in the application documents, the applicant is given two months to correct it.

The applicant must request the TPTO to undertake a standard state of the art search within 12 months from the application date and pay the necessary fee for the search. If the applicant does not request such a search within the permitted time period, the patent application will be deemed to be withdrawn.

The search report is the first step in deciding whether or not an invention is patentable. Once the search report is prepared, the TPTO notifies the applicant regarding the report and relevant documents.

After a total of 18 months, as of the application/priority date, the patent application is published in the Official Patent Bulletin. The applicant may file a request for an earlier publication.

If the applicant decides to proceed with the application, it is entitled to request the preparation of the examination report within three months from the notification of the search report.

If the TPTO concludes that the application meets the patentability criteria, the TPTO will issue the patent (on payment of the necessary fees).

If the TPTO concludes that the application does not meet the patentability criteria, the applicant is allowed three months to either amend its claims or object to the TPTO’s report. Applicants are limited to three rounds of this notification, response and amendment process.

Third parties are entitled to submit oppositions to the patent within six months of the publication of grant. The applicant has the right to file a response to a third-party opposition within three months.

If there is no third-party opposition, the patent becomes final and the final decision of the TPTO is published in the Bulletin.

Utility Models

The grant procedure is shorter and easier for utility models.

After the procedural examination, if there is no deficiency or the deficiencies are corrected, the applicant is entitled to request a search report.

Once the search report is prepared by the TPTO, the applicant is notified in this regard.

The application is published in the Bulletin 18 months after the application date. The applicant may file a request for an earlier publication.

Third parties are entitled to submit their opinions and the applicant is entitled to file an opposition against the publication within three months of publication.

The TPTO examines these opinions and oppositions. If the TPTO’s examination decision is positive, the application matures to registration.

 1.3 Timeline for Grant Procedure

Obtaining a patent takes approximately two to five years. Obtaining a utility model takes around two to three years.

Turkish citizens and Turkish residents do not need a representative to initiate grant proceedings; in other words, right-holders can file applications themselves. However, foreign applicants must assign a registered local patent attorney.

Official fees for granting a patent/utility model can be found on the TPTO website.

In a smooth-running proceeding, the cost will vary from EUR4,000–6,000 (including official and attorneys’ fees). These figures do not include the drafting of the patent application.

Since utility model registration procedures are shorter and less complex, the total cost of the whole registration procedure will vary from EUR2,000–4,000.

 1.4 Term of Each Intellectual Property Right

Patent protection lasts for 20 years, whereas utility model protection lasts for ten years as of the application date.

 1.5 Rights and Obligations of Owners of Intellectual Property Rights

Patent and utility model holders are entitled to:

  • prevent others from using their inventions;
  • seek legal remedies (such as infringement actions and compensation claims) to protect their rights, including the right to an injunction; and
  • assign their intellectual property rights, sign licence agreements, or put pledges on the patent or otherwise dispose of it.

Right-holders are obliged to pay the annual renewal fees.

The patent file submitted to and registered with the TPTO becomes publicly available and may be reviewed by any interested person. The TPTO’s online system allows the public to conduct searches of its online database. One can conduct such searches for a patent based on its applicant, invention summary, invention headline, IPC class or C0operative Patent Classification (CPC) class. 

 1.6 Further Protection after Lapse of the Maximum Term

There is no further protection after the expiration of protection dates.

 1.7 Third-Party Rights to Participate in Grant Proceedings

Third parties are entitled to file third-party observations after the publication of the patent/utility model application. If these observations are filed before the preparation of the search report, they may be considered during the preparation of the report. Even so, the third party filing the observation does not become a party to the proceedings.

Third parties are entitled to oppose the patent within six months from the publication date of the grant of the patent. This post-grant opposition procedure is not available for utility models.

As for utility models, third parties are also entitled to submit observations and objections against the application within three months of the publication of the search report.

 1.8 Remedies against Refusal to Grant an Intellectual Property Right

Applicants are entitled to file actions within two months of the notification date of the decision before the first instance intellectual and industrial property rights civil courts of Ankara for the cancellation of a negative and finalised decision of the TPTO.

 1.9 Consequences of Failure to Pay Annual Fees

The failure to pay annual fees results in loss of rights.

  • If the intellectual property right is granted, failure to pay the annual fees results in the loss of the rights arising from the patent/utility model.
  • If the application process is ongoing, it results in the invalidity of the application.

Annual fees must be paid every year on the date that the application was filed, starting two years after the application date (when the second year is completed, and the third year starts). It must be noted that right-holders must pay the annual fees even if they are not notified in this regard. If the fee is not paid on this date, it is possible to pay within six, months provided that an additional fee is paid.

Annual fees differ for patents and utility models, and also for every year. The fees can be found on the TPTO website.

The IPC provides another option for patent holders and applicants, who are allowed to reinstitute rights by paying the relevant fees. The IPC allows patent holders to revive a patent which has lapsed due to failure to pay the annual maintenance fee in time. To revive such a patent, the right-holder must deposit the penalty fee within two months of the TPTO notifying them that the patent has lapsed. The patent will become valid again for a further year, running from the fee payment date.

 1.10 Post-grant Proceedings Available to Owners of Intellectual Property Rights

Article 99 of the IPC provides a post-grant opposition system, whereby third parties can oppose a patent within six months of the publication of the decision stating that the patent is granted. Upon the TPTO notifying the patent owner about an opposition, the patent owner can file a response or amendments to the patent within three months. If the Re-examination and Evaluation Board (Board) examines the opposition and finds that the patent conforms with the IPC, it will refuse the opposition. If the Board concludes that the patent partially conforms to the law, it will confirm the partial validity. It will inform the patent owner accordingly, requesting the amendment of the patent in line with partial approval. If no amendments are filed (or the amendments are not approved), the patent will be invalidated.

Otherwise, the claims of a Turkish patent cannot be amended by the patent holder after the grant of protection. However, Article 140 of the IPC states that the right-holder may restrict its right to the patent, either in full or partially, for one or more claims. The IPC allows for the cancellation of a whole claim; however, it does not provide the right to amend the claim. Where the patent is restricted in part, the patent remains in force for the claims which have not been cancelled.