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Turkish Declarations of Use

Have you recently validated your European patent in Turkey?  Did you know that in addition to paying annual renewal fees, Turkish law also requires you to submit a public declaration stating whether you have actively worked your invention in Turkey?

This declaration must be filed no later than 3-years from publication in the Turkish Patent Bulletin, or four years from the application date, whichever is the later.  A patent owner does not lose patent rights if they do not file a declaration in time, but this could leave them open to requests from third parties for a compulsory licence to work the invention.

If you have worked your invention (such as by manufacture, import, and/or sale) and are meeting market demand, you should file a declaration stating this by the deadline. You no longer need to submit evidence of use (e.g., import certificates), as the law changed to remove this requirement in 2020.

If you have not worked your invention, you can file a statement which includes an acceptable reason for non-use.  Reasons can include a current lack of market demand, or that you intend to work the invention in Turkey but there have been significant delays in launching the product due to a global pandemic.  If you do not give an acceptable reason for non-use, this can also leave you open to requests for compulsory licences.

There is no requirement in Turkey to file or update declarations on a regular basis.  Therefore, a declaration of non-use filed by the appropriate deadline will be outdated if the invention is later used.  You can challenge a request for a compulsory licence due to non-use in court by showing that you are actively using the invention and meeting market demand.  However, this process can incur (possibly significant) costs.  Therefore, it is best practice to file a new declaration of use once you start working the invention, even if it is after the deadline, as this will go on public record and can help to prevent third parties from approaching you for a compulsory licence.

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