Protection of Breeder’s Rights of New Varieties of Plants in Turkey
Turkey had enacted Law No. 5042 on the Protection of Breeder’s Rights of New Varieties of Plants (“Law”) on January 2004 (The Law was published in the Official Gazette dated 15.01.2004 Numbered: 25347 and came into effect on the date of publication). After the enactment of the Law, Turkish Ministry of Agriculture (“Ministry”) published the Regulation No.25551 on Protection of Breeder’s Rights of New Varieties of Plants (“Regulation”) on 12 August 2004.
The provisions of the Law and the Regulation are to a large extent in conformity with the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (“UPOV Convention”). Turkey became a member to the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (“UPOV”), established by the Convention, on the 18th of November, 2007.
An overview of the legislation regarding the protection of breeder’s rights of new varieties of plants in Turkey is as follows:
Turkish citizens or real persons and legal entities resident in Turkey or parties that have right of application for breeder’s rights under UPOV Convention shall have the right to apply for breeder’s rights in Turkey. The application can be done by the breeder or its authorized representatives.
The breeder’s rights shall be granted upon application to the Ministry if the variety is new, distinct, uniform and stable.
Novelty criterion as defined in the Law is as follows; a variety shall be deemed novel if at the date of filing of the application the propagating or harvested material of the variety has not been sold or disposed of to others by or with the consent of the breeder (i) in Turkey earlier than one year before the date of application (ii) in other countries earlier than four years before the date of application.
In the event that breeder’s rights are granted, the following acts in respect of propagating material of the protected variety shall require the authorization of the breeder:
- Production or multiplication
- Conditions for the purpose of propagation
- Offering for sale
- Selling or other marketing
The period of protection is 25 years as from the date of registration.
The breeder may register the variety under the name it chooses. Should the variety is registered in a UPOV country, the application has to be made with the same name.
In case the applicant or its successors have made an application in a country party to UPOV and twelve months has not been passed as from the date of application, right of priority shall be granted in their application in Turkey and the date of application in the UPOV country shall be deemed as date of application in Turkey. In order to be granted right of priority, this demand has to be stated in the application in Turkey.
All of the properly filed applications are published by the Ministry officially in a bulletin. Objections against the applications may be filed before the Ministry on limited grounds within three months after the date of publication.
In case of any infringement of breeder’s rights, the breeder shall have the right to ask the courts to stop infringement immediately, to seize the production, ask compensation for material and immaterial damages (including loss of profit). Apart from the civil liability, the infringement shall result in criminal liability as well.