Based on the new Industrial Property Law No. 6769 (the “IP Law”), the new Regulation on Employee Inventions, University Inventions and Inventions Created in State Funded Projects (the “Employee Inventions Regulation”) entered into force on September 29, 2017. With the provisions clarifying employee remuneration amounts and the calculation of such remuneration, as well as the inclusion of academic inventions for the first time, the Employee Inventions Regulation was certainly among the most awaited secondary regulations based on the IP Law.
What the Regulation Says?
When compared with the previous legislation, the IP Law and the Employee Inventions Regulation have a deeper focus on the protection of employees. Most significant issues introduced by the Employee Inventions Regulation include the following:
- The employer's claims on the employee inventions are regulated,
- The provisions are mandatory in nature and they can not be changed to be disadvantageous for employees,
- Calculation methods of the remuneration of the employee who creates the invention and payment methods of such remuneration are clarified,
- Dispute resolution methods and arbitration in the event the employee and employer fail to agree on the amount and payment methods are established.
In addition, the Employee Inventions Regulation is the first piece of legislation to address the inventions created in higher education institutions, in other words academic inventions, in Turkey. The fee to be paid to the inventor for academic inventions must be at least one third of the employer's income from the invention.
The Employee Inventions Regulation introduces provisions which address many of the controversial issues that arise in practice as to the ownership of inventions created by employees and the remuneration of such inventions. That said, the fact that the calculation of the remuneration of the employees are regulated in detail is encouraging for employees to create inventions. It should be noted that even though how the Employee Inventions Regulation will be put into practice remains unclear for the time being, employers will have to consider that the contractual provisions that are in contradiction with the provisions under the Employee Inventions Regulation that favor employees will be deemed invalid.