The Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) has taken steps towards a totally paperless system with its updated online system, enabling users to file, track and oppose applications in just a few clicks.

This makeover, where notifications are also to be communicated electronically, ensures that applications are processed by up to half the amount of time, with the TPI expressing that it aims to review trademark applications within a six-month period, as opposed to the current application process which can take anywhere up to 12 months.

The existing online system which is divided into clear sections for patents, trademarks and industrial rights, with links for filing applications, file tracking and searching under each heading has been updated to provide a more a user-friendly experience. Notable amendments include the addition of a new tab, ‘My Files’, leading to documents which can be accessed only by the responsible attorney using his/her unique number. However, it seems that this amendment can equally pose problems – for instance where the attorney leaves the firm – as the documents cannot be viewed by the firm. Another amendment includes a revised categorisation of classes. Users are now able to remove irrelevant categories of goods or services from the automatically filled in Nice specification, thereby reducing the need for the use of Class 99, a tailored specification list inputted by the user.

The website which has enabled applicants/attorneys to file applications, view documents and deal with post-application procedures online by using e-signatures/mobiles since 2008, has also responded to the prevalence of e-commerce with its recently implemented credit card system, which ensures that payments are now made instantaneously. The TPI’s decision to merge the costs of filing a trademark application and issuing a trademark into a one-off lump sum that must be paid upfront will further speed up the process. However, the realisation of this proposal is contingent on the amendment of the legal regulations governing the payment of trademark applications.

In summary, the addition of file tracking services, and the speed and transparency of the new system marks a welcome change to the application process which is sure to prove less laborious for both users of the system and the TPI itself.

Pınar Arıkan
Pınar Şanel