Existing legislation

Decree-Law 551 on the Protection of Patents makes no specific reference to the patentability of biotechnological inventions. Articles 5 and 6 of the decree-law define 'patentable inventions' and 'non-patentable subject matters' in line with Article 52 of the European Patent Convention 1973.

Proposed changes

Regarding biotechnological inventions, the draft IP law states that simple discoveries of human gene sequences are not patentable.

Comment

The wording of the draft IP law refers to Article 5 of the EU Biotech Directive (98/44/EC) and Rule 29 of the European Patent Office's internal guidelines. However, the draft provides no definition of 'biotechnological inventions', leaving the issue to be defined and shaped by case law.

The Intellectual Property Court recently ruled that a probe and method for detecting nucleic acids are patentable as long as the patentability requirements of novelty and inventive step are met, but the court in the same decision also ruled that gene sequences are not patentable. The decision is pending before the Supreme Court.

For further information on this topic please contact Muazzez Korutürk or Okan Çan at Deris IP Attorneys by telephone (+90 212 252 6122) or email (muazzez.koruturk@deris.com or okan.can@deris.com). The Deris website can be accessed at www.deris.com.tr.

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