Industrial Property & Intellectual Rights

Integrated Circuit Topographies

Act no. 5147 pertaining to the protection of integrated circuit topographies was put into effect on April 30, 2004 in Turkey. Under this Act integrated circuit topographies are protected before the Turkish Patent Institute for ten years. This protection period starts from the launch date of the integrated circuit by the applicant or by a third party through the applicant’s authorization in the market (domestic or foreign). Protection of Integrated Circuit Topography in Turkey will only go into effect if the request for registration is filed with the T.P.I. within 2 years from the application date and no commercial activity is in question. The integrated circuit topography has to meet the requirement of originality for registration purposes in Turkey which is defined as, “creation which is the result of its creator’s own intellectual effort and is not commonplace among creators and manufacturers of integrated topographies at the time of the creation.” Renewal of the protection of integrated circuit topography in Turkey is not possible and after ten years the subject matter of the right becomes public property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the legal basis for the protection of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The current regulation is based on the Act no. 5147 in force as from April 30, 2004 and on its Implementing Regulation published in the Official Gazette no. 25686 of December 30, 2004 pertaining to the protection of the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey. The object of said Act is to protect the integrated circuit topographies with the aim to ensure a situation of competition and industrial development in this field.

Question: Who is entitled to obtain protection for integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The following persons are entitled to benefit from the protection of the integrated topographies according to article 3 of the Act no. 5147:

  • Turkish Republic citizens, natural or legal persons who are domiciled or engaged with industrial or commercial business within the territory of the Turkish Republic as well as persons entitled to file an application under the provisions of relevant international treaties may enjoy protection of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey.
  • Notwithstanding the fact it falls outside the scope of the above explanations, natural or legal persons that are citizens of states which grant de jure or de facto protection of integrated circuit topographies to Turkish Republic citizens, shall enjoy said protection according to the principle of reciprocity.

Question: What is the principle of reciprocity for protection of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: According to article 6 paragraph 3 of the Implementing Regulation, where foreign countries accept registration or announce in writing that they shall register the integrated circuit topographies of the Turkish Republic citizens, Turkey will reciprocate protection.

Question: What does €œoriginality€ mean for registration of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The integrated circuit topographies have to meet the requirement of originality to be protected by registration according to article 4 paragraph 1 of the Act reading €œIntegrated circuit topographies having an original character shall be protected by issuance of a registration certificate€. According to article 5 of the Act, the term €œoriginal€ means €œcreation which is the result of its creator€™s own intellectual effort and is not commonplace among creators and manufacturers of integrated circuit topographies at the tine of the creation€.

Question: When does the protection of integrated circuit topographies start in Turkey?
Answer: The protection of integrated circuit topographies starts as from the date on which the integrated circuit topography is put for the first time, commercially to the market at home country or abroad by the right holder or by a third party under his authorization, provided that the application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies is filed in Turkey within two years as from the first commercial launch. Where there is no commercial use, and therefore date of first use, the protection of integrated circuit topographies starts as from the date of application for the registration of the integrated circuit topography in Turkey.

Question: What is the duration of the protection of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The term of protection of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey is ten years. In case the integrated circuit topography is not used for commercial purposes and no application for registration has been filed within fifteen years as from the date of its creation, no protection can be claimed after this period unless a situation of secrecy is justified (article 6 paragraph 3 of the Act). The renewal of the protection of integrated circuit topographies is not possible and after ten years the subject matter of the right becomes public property.

Question: Who can claim protection of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The protection right of an integrated circuit topography belongs to its creator or to his legal successor(s) as provided in article 7 of the Act. In the presence of more than one creator, the joint ownership is valid. In employment relation, the protection right of an integrated circuit topography created by an officer, servant and workers during the performance of their duties belongs to the employers unless there is an agreement to the contrary, in return of which the employer pays a fee. Failure to reach agreement on the amount of the fee, the amount to be paid shall be determined by the court.

Question: What is the scope of the protection for integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: Article 11 of the Act provides that the right holder of an integrated circuit topography shall have exclusive rights for preventing and stopping the following acts that occur without and beyond his consent: - Except for the reproduction of the part(s) that do no meet the requirement of originality, the reproduction, in whole or in part, of an integrated circuit topography under protection by its inclusion in an integrated circuit or by any other way; - Importation, sale or distribution for commercial purposes, of protected integrated circuit topography, of an integrated circuit containing such a protected integrated circuit topography or any product containing an integrated circuit topography reproduced in breach of law.

Question: What is the principle of personal use exception for integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: Article 12 of the Act provides that some acts like the reproduction of the integrated circuit topography under protection for non-commercial purposes or solely with the purposes of evaluation, analysis, research or training; importation, sale or distribution with commercial purposes of an integrated circuit topography under protection or an integrated circuit having it thereon after said integrated circuit topography or integrated circuit is released at home or abroad by the right holder or under his consent, can be done freely without necessitating the authorization of the right holder. These acts remaining outside of the scope of protection for integrated circuit topographies concern in summary personal use exception.

Question: Which documentation/information is required for filing an application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The application for the registration of the integrated circuit topography shall be filed before the Turkish Patent Institute/TPI (article 13) and the following information and documents be submitted according to article 14 of the Act and to article 8 of the Implementing Regulation:

  • integrated circuit topography€™s applicant name, surname and address;
  • original commercial use date of the integrated circuit topography or a statement declaring such use has not occurred;
  • a power of attorney if an attorney files the application for
  • registration of integrated circuit topographies (for the power of attorney, please refer in our web site to FORMS/Power Of Attorney;
  • a circular of authorized signature(s) if the application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies is filed in the name of a legal person;
  • copies or clear drawings of integrated circuit topography which can be reproduced by means of publication and comprising the data describing the electronic functions performed by the integrated circuit. Where these copies or drawings allow the identification of the integrated circuit topography, copies or drawings related to parts for the manufacturing of integrated circuits may not be filed;
  • abstract in written form giving a short and explanatory description of integrated circuit topography (preferably not exceeding 100 words);
  • data identifying the creator and where the applicant of integrated circuit topography is not the creator or where there is more than one creator, according to Article 8 of the Implementing Regulation, the applicant of integrated circuit topographies shall declare in the application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies in what way he has obtained the right to apply for registration from the creator(s);
  • receipt evidencing that the fee of application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies has been paid.
According to article 15 of the Act, where the application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies does not comply with article 14 of the Act and article 8 of the Implementing Regulation the outstanding points/elements shall be completed within two months as from the TPI€™s notification to this effect to the applicant of integrated circuit topographies. If the documents listed in article 15, namely the petition of application for the registration of integrated circuit topographies, information regarding the identity of the applicant and copies or drawings of the integrated circuit topographies are filed with the TPI on the date of the application, the application is considered to have been filed on the date of receipt and entry of same in the records of the TPI.

Question: Does a register for integrated circuit topographies exist in Turkey?
Answer: The applications of integrated circuit topographies are recorded on the Register of Integrated Circuit Topographies, published on the Bulletin of Patents and then the registration certificate issued by the TPI is sent to the applicant of integrated circuit topographies or its attorney.

Question: Who is authorized to proceed with filing/registration of integrated circuit topographies before the Turkish Patent Institute?
Answer: Article 23 paragraph 1 provides that any real person or legal person that files an application of integrated circuit topography or the patent attorneys recorded on the Register are authorized to proceed before the TPI. Paragraph 3 provides that applications in the name of the applicants having their domicile abroad are to be filed and represented by chartered patent attorneys.

Question: Which are the provisions common with the other acts for the protection of industrial property in Turkey?
Answer: A common characteristic of all the Decree-Laws and Acts enacted in Turkey since 1995 in matter of Industrial Property including this Act on €œthe Protection of the Integrated Circuit Topographies€ is that they are similar in their structures and that their provisions pertaining to:

  • litigation,
  • compensation,
  • competent courts,
  • infringement,
  • evidence,
  • establishment of experts€™ opinion through the court as determination of evidence of infringement or to serve as a declaration of non-infringement/similarity,
  • injunctive relief upon court order,
  • procedural law,
  • withholding of infringing goods at the customs under the suspension of release procedure are similar, not to say identical, to a large extent.
Accordingly, with this Act, Turkey€™s fully integrated and coherent body of industrial property legislation is extended to provide protection for the integrated circuit layouts- designs- (topographies).

Question: Is it possible to lodge an objection against the decision for integrated circuit topographies of the Turkish Patent Institute?
Answer: According to article 30 of the Act, those persons who are damaged/suffer from the administrative decisions for integrated circuit topographies, do have the right of objecting before the Higher Council of Examination and Evaluation of the TPI against the said administrative decisions within 2 months as from the date of notification of the decision. The decisions of the Higher Council can be appealed before the (Specialized) Ankara Court of Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights within 60 days as from their notification to the right holder and further before the Supreme Court. Under parallel provisions, the Act no. 5147 dated April 30, 2004 rule that in all court actions instituted in accordance thereof and against all decisions of the TPI in implementing them, the competent courts shall be the specialized courts to be established by the Ministry of Justice. According to article 31 paragraph 2 the (Specialized) Ankara Court of Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights is competent for all actions to be instituted versus TPI by third persons negatively affected or having suffered damage by the decisions of the TPI on the basis of this Act.

Question: Who can institute the nullity action for integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: According to the 1st paragraph of article 19 of the Act the consumer societies, the bodies, namely Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Industry, Chamber of Shipping, Commodity Exchange, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange of Turkey subject to the law no. 5590 for the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange of Turkey enacted on 8.3.1950 and to the Law no. 507 for Tradesman and Artisans Association enacted on 17.7.1964 as well as other interested parties are entitled to demand the nullity of the integrated circuit from the competent Court in Turkey. Article 20 paragraph 1 rules that the Court€™s decision of nullity of the integrated circuit topography shall have retroactive effects.

Question: What is the scope of an infringement action for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The Act no. 5147 provides under articles 24 and 11, parallel provisions to ones existing in Trademark, Patent and Industrial Design Acts in that infringement involves, the unauthorized, production, sale, offer for sale, distribution and importation for commercial purposes of integrated circuits incorporating, wholly or partly, the Chip topography under protection pursuant to said Act, as well as the products containing such infringing integrated circuits.

Question: Which remedies can be claimed in the infringement action for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: In accordance with the article 26 of the Act the right holder, within the context of an infringement action for the integrated circuit topographies may claim that the infringement be stopped, the counterfeit goods and their production tools/instruments/means be seized and, where necessary for stopping the infringement, be destroyed and may further claim for compensation of moral and material damages suffered because of the infringement and for the publication in newspapers of the favorable court decision.

Question: Is it possible to request an action in declaration of non-infringement and in determination of evidence by the applicant for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: According to Article 26 paragraph 1 (a) and (b) in case of infringement of integrated circuit topographies; the right holder is also entitled to request from the Court, establishment of an Experts€™ Report through the Court to serve as determination of evidence as to the existence of a situation of infringement or as a declaration of non-infringement/non-similarity.

Question: Is it possible to request injunctive relief and border measures for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The Act no. 5147 has parallel provisions structured almost identically to the earlier series of Decree-Laws on industrial property in the matter of injunctive relief upon Court Order and withholding of infringing goods at the customs, the so-called Border Measures. The Act no. 5147 is also in coherence with the Customs Act No. 4458 to permit, upon complaint, the seizure/withholding, by the customs, of goods infringing intellectual and/or industrial property rights, under protection in Turkey. The withholding is lifted and the customs formalities proceed further unless a court action for infringement is duly instituted or an interlocutory injunction is ordered by the court within 10 days from the date of the withholding by the customs.

Question: What are the conditions for the compulsory license for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey?
Answer: The conditions of the compulsory license for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey are detailed in articles 37 of the Act covering

  • the public interest
  • national defense/security
  • general health
  • the development and boosting of the other vital sectors of the national economy
  • or when the use made by the right holder or its licensee is in the nature of restricting/eliminating competition (paragraph 1)
The authority to decide to grant a compulsory license vests with the Council of Ministers (paragraph 2). In case a public institution/body or a third party has requested a contractual license from the right holder of the integrated circuit topography and that the request has not been accepted within reasonable commercial terms and within a reasonable period of time, the requesting party shall file an application with the TPI for the right of use thereof. Where the use of the integrated circuit topography becomes significant for the national defense, the development of the vital sectors of the national economy and for the purposes of general health, the request for grant of compulsory license is prepared jointly by the ministry of which the TPI is dependant and the related ministries (paragraph 4). The compulsory license for the integrated circuit topographies in Turkey is not exclusive and a fee for the utilization of the integrated circuit topography shall be paid by the right holder. The fee for the utilization of the integrated circuit topography shall be fixed by the TPI (paragraph