IP Topics & ArticlesQualification of a Patent Attorney

The growth in applications has raised more questions about the qualification requirements for patent attorneys in Turkey. Only patent attorneys are statutorily allowed to represent foreign applicants with regard to patents before the Turkish Patent Institute (TPI).

The title of Turkish patent attorney was first introduced on June 24 1994 according to Article 30 of Decree Law 5000 establishing the TPI and the first qualifying exam was accordingly held in 1996.

Legal practice does not require candidates in the field of science and technology to have a particular qualification or subsequently to undergo a period of professional activity under the supervision of a professional representative or an employee, dealing with patent matters, of an industrial concern.

A bachelor’s degree from a university and passing the examination, held over a period of half a day, in general allow a Turkish person, assuming of course they are of good moral character and good repute, to qualify as a Turkish Patent Attorney. The exam is carried out every two years and includes IP-related national laws and regulations, international agreements and an article on this subject as well. Scoring at least 70 out of 100 would be sufficient to pass this written exam.

The TPI maintains a register of attorneys. There are about 380 registered patent attorneys in Turkey today. Company representatives are recognized by the TPI for this practice only for Turkish applicants. Patent attorneys cannot conduct patent litigation in the courts.

Almost the same standards are applied to be admitted to the register of trade mark attorneys. Trademark attorneys cannot be registered unless they have passed the trade mark exam and registered separately before the TPI. There are about 720 trade mark attorneys in Turkey.

In order to harmonize the Turkish patent attorney system with modern provisions, a draft law has been completed once but it is still under discussion. On the other hand, a great effort has now been put towards establishing a Turkish association of patent attorneys to improve the ethical and professional standards.

(Ersin Dereligil)

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