Protection of ownership

Turkey provides and operates the protection of the interests of owners of movable and immovable property. There is a reliable system for recording such security rights. For example, there is a land registry Department, where the real estate is registered. The Turkish legal system protects and promotes the purchase and delivery of property rights, including land, buildings, and mortgage loans, though some participants of trials complain that Turkey's courts make decisions slowly.

Protection of intellectual property rights

Protection of intellectual property rights in Turkey has been improved somewhat in recent years; however, certain inconsistencies with international standards still takes place.

The Copyright Act provides deterrent penalties for copyright infringement, as well as some strong provisions to prevent piracy, including a ban on the street sale of any copyrighted products and permitting law enforcement to take action without the right holder's complaint.

The law establishes minimum penalties of imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years and/or a fine ranging from 5000 to 50000 TL depending on the amount of damages. The Act also establishes maximum penalties of deprivation of liberty for a term from 3 to 6 years and/or a fine in the amount of 50000- 250000 TL. As pirate products still remain quite common, the number of lawsuits filed against the producers and/or distributors of such products has increased considerably, and penalties were used more often.

Patent law and patent protection

Turkey has signed several international conventions, including the Stockholm Act of the Paris Convention, the International Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Strasbourg Agreement. In 2008 Turkey had also acceded to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the performances and Phonograms.

Turkey takes patent applications in accordance with the "mail" terms of the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). Patent law, however, does not contain any provisions on temporary legal protection of pharmaceutical products in part of research and development.

Turkish patent law provides for copyright infringement sanctions with imprisonment up to 4 years or fine of 46 000 TL, or all together, closing the business for a period of at least 1 year and a ban on participation in ownership of any kind of commercial activity during the same period. Nevertheless, research firms in the pharmaceutical sector, expressed criticism of the provisions, which include delay claims about infringement before the date of adoption and publication of a patent, allow the use of a patented invention for the collection of data necessary for market adoption of the model pharmaceutical products and gives judges more leeway on sanctions in cases of violation of patent rights. The new patent Act currently under consideration in Parliament.

Unlike some other countries, Turkey still has no system that directly connects the market adoption of pharmaceutical patent protection system. Patent Institute reports to the Ministry of health informing him about patents for pharmaceuticals that were adopted and approved. In addition, in 2006 Patent Institute with the assistance of the World Bank, has created an online database that allows users to search for existing patents. However, no patent Institute provides enterprises or public information on unpublished patent applications, which have not yet been approved.

In general, the Ministry of health ensures the protection of confidential test data submitted in support of the pharmaceutical market. However, some rules weaken protection of confidential test data. Data exclusivity is limited to original products, licensed in a member country of the European Customs Union after January 1, 2001 on which the model manufacturers have not applied for licenses in Turkey before January 1, 2005 exclusivity terms, moreover, are limited in duration to the duration of the patent medicines. A six-year term of data protection starts on the date of licensure in a member country of the European Customs Union, but allowed a shorter term of protection depending on the duration of the process of market adoption in Turkey.

International trademark holders complain of widespread rights violations in Turkey, especially with regard to clothing, cosmetics, detergents and medicines.

Turkey also provides protection for the commercial use of seeds within the law on the protection of the diversity of plants.


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