New Legislative Changes on The Way

Turkish legislation on the protection of patents, industrial designs, and trademarks is set to change. All procedures and transactions pertaining to basic intellectual property rights are set forth in Decree Laws numbered 551, 554, and 556, all of which became effective suddenly in 1995 after heavy pressure from the EU. Because the legislation entered into force without substantive discussion, it has been harshly criticized by experts and practitioners. One of the most significant criticisms of the provisions of the Decree Law was whether criminal penalties may be imposed via a Decree Law, instead of a code. Therefore, the Constitutional Court, the only competent authority to determine the constitutionality of laws, annulled several articles of the Decree Law no: 556 on Protection of Trademarks after local courts and practitioners objected to such arrangements. Final annulment by the Constitutional Court was made on July 05, 2008, annulling subparagraphs (b) of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 9 and subparagraphs (a) and (c) of Article 61 of the Decree Law no: 556 on Protection of Trademarks. After the Constitutional Court’s decisions, the amendments on this legislation became inevitable. Draft codes were prepared and became public for comments from experts and practitioners. The legislation is expected to enter into force in 2009 after discussions by commissions and the General Assembly of the Parliament.