Assessment of novelty and distinctive character in industrial design protection in Turkey

Elibol, Gülçin Cankız
Novelty and distinctive character are the conditions of protection for a registered design in Turkey. This study investigates the ways in which novelty and distinctive character are interpreted and assessed by the parties actively involved in the assessment process –judges, court experts, the Turkish Patent Institute experts, attorneys and design agents. The face-to-face interviews conducted with 51 participants from the parties involved indicate that the assessment of distinctive character presents more challenges than the assessment of novelty. Not being exactly the same with a previous design is the main consideration in the assessment of novelty. The assessment of distinctive character is primarily identified with the comparison of designs’ overall impressions whereas designer’s degree of freedom remains as the least mentioned consideration. The study suggests that being subject to protection of designs not fulfilling the conditions of protection coupled with the uncertainties in the assessment of novelty and distinctive character, which may have a negative impact on the public trust in the design registration system. The study concludes with a set of suggestions for developing an assessment guide for the design registration system in Turkey.


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Citation Formats
G. C. Elibol, “Assessment of novelty and distinctive character in industrial design protection in Turkey,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.