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Intellectual and Industrial Property

 

Message from Fikri Işık, Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology: Intellectual and Industrial Property

Technological developments and innovative activities are cornerstones of economic growth and global competition in our society. Intellectual and industrial property rights are critical in terms of sustainability and protection of technical innovations and it has become an important topic on the agenda.

The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology put an emphasis on R&D and innovation since they have been most effective factors of technological and economic development. In this regard, the Ministry takes measures both for development and diffusion of R&D activities and gives support to enterprises. After the Law of Supporting R&D Activities has come into effect in 2008, mechanisms concerning ‘Support for Technological Enterprise Capital’, ‘Pre-Competition Cooperation Program’ and ‘R&D Centres’ have been put into practice for serving R&D activities.

As a result of intense studies with all related parties, Turkish Patent Institute and the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology has formed the new draft bill of ‘Industrial Property Law’. This draft involves fundamental changes in order to create a more qualified industrial property structure and aims for encouraging universities to have institutional patents and giving support to their patent studies.
Turkey moved from the ninth rank in 2011 to the seventh rank in 2012 in terms of national applications to the World Intellectual Property Organization. All these developments show that Turkey reveals its serious potential in intellectual property rights and attaches importance to the subject.

Turkish Patent Institute and Intellectual & Industrial Property Rights

In general, the system of intellectual property protects the rights of individuals, who have produced intellectual and industrial products. Intellectual property rights have two branches as copyright and industrial property rights. Whereas the Ministry of Culture and Tourism protects intellectual property rights, Turkish Patent Institute protects industrial property rights in Turkey. Industrial property rights are the ones concerning innovations applicable in industry. Patents are industrial property rights which protect technical innovations, industrial designs and view of products including aesthetics and functionality. Brands are industrial property rights that gives the identity of products and shapes the image of products in terms of service, price, trust..etc. Additionally, geographical signs accounts for the other component of industrial property rights and it serves for protection of the rights of our local and native products such as Erzurum Oltu Taşı, Antep Baklavası, Bergama El Halısı,..etc.

Turkish Patent Institute implements official registration procedure of industrial rights and conducts required studies for development and enhancement of industrial property system. In this framework, Turkish Patent Institute makes the necessary legislation on the one hand, and on the other hand makes studies for informing the related parties and raising the level of awareness with the aim of stimulating the potential in Turkey about industrial & intellectual property rights, which have a great impact on economic and technological development.

The Relationship between R&D Expenditures, Patent Applications and Commercial Success of Enterprises

Innovation means the development and application of new knowledge in a successful way. The majority of the advancements in life standards since industrial revolution have been accepted as a result of innovation. R&D activities are the first step of innovation cycle and their concrete output is patent applications. Although many R&D investments are not transformed into patent and many patented products are not the outputs of R&D process, the studies show that there is a positive relation between all steps of innovation cycle. In other words, it is possible to state that R&D activities -together with other factors- lead to new patent applications and innovative products in time. On this account, a detailed analysis of the relationship between R&D activities and patent applications seems to matter in order to determine investment policies and anticipate about development of new products.

Trademarks and developments in our country

In recent years, there are considerable investments concerning trademarks in our country. In line with this fact, trademark applications have shown seven times increase since the foundation of the institute. The number of the applications in Turkey reached above hundred thousand in last three years. According to the data of World Intellectual Property Organization, Turkey has been the sixth country in the world regarding trademark application number and protects its third place in Europe for three years.
According to the report of World Intellectual Property Organization, trademark application number, which has been below a million in 1985, reached 4.2 million in 2011. In that period, trademark application number has increased twenty times in Turkey and our country has been the second after China in terms of trademark applications. Additionally, Turkey has been the first country with 24.1 percentage in class-based calculated trademark application number in 2012.

Mediation in Brand Law

Mediation, which is an alternative type of conflict resolution that the parties apply voluntarily, brings disputed parties together with the aim of negotiation and purposes conflict resolution between parties with the support of a third person that the parties are in agreement.

The rapid growth of brand market, which has been a branch of intellectual property rights, the spread of brand imitation and unjust gains in an easy way triggered the need for conflict resolution in a fast way. Since judicial power of the state does not have the efficiency and speed in solving brand disputes, mediation has been preferred as an alternative way.

When the economy is taken into consideration, the investments of trademarks would be saved to our economy before the rejection of the brand application as a result of mediation between conflicted parties. As a result of mediation new brands would come into economy and this has an indirect effect in economic growth. Moreover, new trade relations can be developed in mediation process. It has been foreseen that licence agreement or franchise agreement can provide economic contribution at the end of the mediation process.

Protection of Local Values by Geographical Signs

Geographical signs are the signs that show a product which has been identified with a district, area, region or a country in terms of its qualifications, reputation and other characteristics. Geographical sign registration aims for protection of product standards and traditional production methods.

Geographical signs is a right that brings marketing power to the product but it does not provide monopoly to the owner. In this framework it is a collective right that protects the real producers and gives contribution to rural development and national economy.

Industrial Design – Visual Expression

All products, their parts and decorative arts in them that accompany us in our everyday life and makes life easier can be defined as industrial design. A glass, cinema posters, pattern of our clothes, calculators, chairs, suits, cars, toys, bags, traffic lights...etc can be shown as examples of industrial design. The visual characteristics of these products have been protected by industrial design registration. In this context, visual expression is the most important element that determines the scope of protection. Consequently, visual expression has to reflect all distinct visual characteristics of the design in an open and clear way.

As the value of industrial design among industrial property rights has been appreciated, it becomes more important day by day. This situation is seen clearly in the rise of industrial design applications. A considerable increase has been observed in industrial design applications in recent years. It has been 46 % increase in national design applications and the application number has reached 42.876 by 2013.

The Hidden Power of Competition

The design is the key of success in sectors such as textile, furniture, kitchen instruments and jewellery. In these sectors the increase of brand value, in other words trademark, has been achieved by design. The enterprises have to adopt innovative perspective in all areas for efficiency. They need to differentiate themselves with their customer focussed perspective, quality and design. Because of this fact, the firms need designers that would direct them to product diversification. The designer is the creative person that determines the need of the market, produces the suitable product/design and gives contribution to the economy with new products. The cooperation between industrialists and designers gives the opportunity to the parties to reach knowledge, technology and other resources and this cooperation provides positive contribution to national economy.

The enterprises working with designers first of all determines the need of the market and develops many concepts suitable with this need. Many ideas are discussed patiently around all perspectives and incorrect perspectives are eliminated. The adopted idea has been prepared as a project, the suitable raw material is identified and at last it is produced for market supply. As it has been noticed, product design is a hard job that requires intense labour and money. It has been important to provide legal security to designs by registration process in order to protect hard work, money and time used in product design process.

In Turkish Patent Institute, design expresses the distinguished and new characteristics of the product. Design registration is the protection process in which the products with their new and distinguished characteristics are registered on behalf of their producers or to other people(real person or legal person) with the permission of the designers.