Preliminary Injunction Decisions against Patent Trolls to Prevent the Enforcement of Patent Rights


The patent and utility model rights, the backbone of incentivizing R&D and innovation, provide their holders with a significant advantage over their competitors and grant an absolute right for a certain period. However, as in every system, there are players in the patent and utility model ecosystem who use these rights contrary to the purpose and spirit of the system to put pressure on their competitors. These players, who obtain patent/utility model registrations by taking advantage of the loopholes in the system without contributing to the technique and who try to make a profit and put pressure on their competitors by asserting these registrations against their competitors, are also called Patent Trolls.

In cases where companies find it challenging to carry out their commercial activities and protect their commercial reputation against their customers in the face of patent trolls, it is possible, through some remedies stipulated under our procedural law, to disburden the parties against whom the rights are asserted. Indisputably, the most important of these remedies is injunctive relief requests. Although there are different types of preliminary injunction requests depending on the type of the dispute, it is fair to say that the one the most commonly resorted to in practice is a preliminary injunction request to prevent the enforcement of rights arising from the utility model or patent registrations or applications.

Undoubtedly, the scope and time of the preliminary injunction requests to be made, before which court and when they should be brought forward, should be evaluated according to the characteristics of each concrete case. However, the decisions rendered in cases that have become precedents destroy the strategies of patent and utility model trolls.

For instance, in a court decision recently finalized, a company that registered the basic principles of a technique in the textile printing field by taking advantage of the lack of extensive novelty examination in the utility model registration system, developed a strategy against the threat of prevention of its commercial activities by its competitors. An invalidation action, on behalf of the company, concerned that its commercial activities will be prevented in Turkey and its reputation will be discredited, was brought up against the relevant utility model. Within the scope of this invalidation action, it has been requested that the other party be prevented from enforcing their rights arising from the utility model against the company. In this action, upon receiving the expert examination on the merits, the court of first instance accepted the request for the preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of the right.

In a similar court decision, upon the utility model registration in bad faith of a technique commonly known in the textile industry, the competitor companies were intensively directed with license requests by the utility model holder. This created concern within competitor companies to continue their commercial activities in Turkey. Similarly, an adverse declaratory action was filed against the utility model holder on behalf of the competitor company, and a similar injunctive relief was granted in this action. In this case, the court of first instance found sufficient explanations in the petition that there was no violation and accepted the request for preliminary injunction without even conducting an expert examination on the merits, thus providing relief to the competitor company that was wronged. We would also like to point out that the preliminary injunction decision has been finalized upon appeal examination.

As seen, requests for a preliminary injunction, a remedy provided by procedural law, find use in different strategies in different ways, whether for the holder of the intellectual property right or the companies under threat due to the intellectual property right. In particular, taking correct and timely action against the absolute rights gained by patent trolls through the loopholes in patent and utility model registration processes and establishing the correct strategy is of great importance for companies in the long run.

Tagged withGün + Partners, Selin Sinem Erciyas, Aysel Korkmaz Yatkın, Zeynep Çağla Üstün, Intellectual Property

This website is available “as is.” Turkish Law Blog is not responsible for any actions (or lack thereof) taken as a result of relying on or in any way using information contained in this website, and in no event shall they be liable for any loss or damages.
Ready to stay ahead of the curve?
Share your interest anonymously and let us guide you through the informative articles on the hottest legal topics.
Successful Your message has been sent