Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Protecting Intellectual Property

Provides advice on IPR protection, including information on the registration of patents and trademarks.

Last published date: 2020-10-07

Turkey remains on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Watch List in 2020. Over the last few years, the Turkish government has worked to strengthen its intellectual property (IP) regime, including through continued implementation of the 2016 Industrial Property Law that, among other things, increases criminal sanctions for importing and exporting counterfeit goods and enhances authorities’ ability to destroy counterfeit goods. Also, an updated copyright law has been under review for more than a year, as has a five-year, government-wide IP strategy. Despite these positive developments, concerns among right holders regarding overall IP protection and enforcement in Turkey continue.

The United States views with concern Turkey’s recent implementation of policies that require localized production of certain pharmaceutical products in order to remain on the government reimbursement list. Additionally, U.S. companies report that Turkey’s national pricing and reimbursement policies for pharmaceutical products and medical devices suffer from a lack of transparency and procedural fairness. Also, stakeholders continue to have concerns about certain compulsory licensing provisions in the Industrial Property Law which may inappropriately expand the discretion to consider compulsory licenses. Stakeholders also continue to raise concerns that Turkey does not adequately protect against the unfair commercial use, as well as unauthorized disclosure, of test or other data generated to obtain marketing approval for pharmaceutical products, and has not done enough to reduce regulatory and administrative delays in granting marketing approvals for products. Turkey should establish an effective mechanism for the early resolution of potential pharmaceutical patent disputes.

The United States encourages Turkey to fully implement its obligations under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet Treaties and develop effective mechanisms to address online piracy. The United States continues to encourage Turkey to require that collective management organizations adhere to fair, transparent, and nondiscriminatory procedures. Turkey remains a significant source of and transshipment point for counterfeit goods across several industry sectors. Levels of pirated products in Turkey remain high. Furthermore, the use of unlicensed software by some government agencies is reported, as are increasing levels of satellite television channel piracy. Enforcement processes are hampered by procedural delays and insufficient personnel, as well as laws that contain lax penalties and inadequate procedures.

In any foreign market, companies should consider several general principles for effective protection of their intellectual property. For background, link to our article on Protecting Intellectual Property and Stopfakes.gov for more resources.

For more information, you may contact the Intellectual Property Attaché  covering Turkey, Dorian Mazurkevich at Dorian.Mazurkevich@trade.gov, or ITA’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights Director, Stevan Mitchell at Stevan.Mitchell@trade.gov.