Trademark FAQ

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What are the routes to obtain protection for a trademark in Turkey?

Applicants may file a conventional trademark application or they may file an application under Madrid protocol designating Turkey.

Who may apply in Turkey?

Any natural and legal persons who accommodate or have industrial or commercial establishments in Turkey, or persons who are entitled to file applications under the provisions of Paris Convention.

What are the criteria for a trademark to be registered in Turkey?

A trademark may consist of any kind of sign capable of being represented graphically, such as words, including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, sounds, scents, the shape of the goods of their packaging and similarly descriptive elements capable of being published and being reproduced by printing, provided that they shall discriminate the goods or services of one enterprise from those of another. The most important criteria in a trademark is finding the distinctive feature of a product or service from similar products and services.

* With the New Turkish Industrial Property (IP) Law No.6769,  scope of definition of trademarks broadened to encompass sounds, colors, packaging and product shape by eliminating the former graphical representation requirement. The Law clearly recognizes sounds and colors as a registrable sign.

Is it possible to file both goods and services under one trademark?

One application trademark can cover goods and/or services in more than one class. The Nice Classification will apply for the trademarks and servicemarks to be filed according to the Turkish IP Law in Turkey. However, the good(s) or service(s) in respect of which the Turkish trademark application is filed will have to be specified by taking into consideration the national sub-classification system in Turkey.

What is the deadline to submit the supporting filing document for a trademark application in Turkey?

Under the current procedure of the Turkish Trademark Law, all the supporting documents which have not been filed simultaneously with the Turkish trademark application will have to be filed within the non-extendable deadline of 2 months from the notification of the official action requesting the completion of same.

Is it required to use a registered trademark in Turkey?

According to the Turkish IP Law, “If, within a period of five years following the registration, trademark has not been put to use without a justifiable reason or if the use has been suspended during an uninterrupted period of five years, the trademark shall be repealed.” On the other hand, another related article says, the invalidity of the trademark registration on grounds of non-use necessitates a court decision. As the regulation contains no provision as to the automatic and ex-officio cancellation of trademark registrations in Turkey on grounds of non-use, the administration is not vested with any such competence to annul or invalidate trademark registrations for non-use.

* An opponent should prove genuine use of a trademark which forms the basis of an opposition if the non-use grace period (5 years) has expired and if requested by the applicant; such requests are also valid for a plaintiff’s defense in infringement proceedings.

This change aims: to encourage the use of registered trademarks in the Turkish market, to prevent applicants from filing and to register their marks for goods and services that are not intended to be used and to stop misusing the opposition mechanism,

Why should I register a trademark in Turkey?

Today, trademarks are more valuable than concrete entities so that the powers of companies are measured with the values of their trademarks rather than the material entities they owned. The protection of a trademark begins with its registration to the name of its owner.

Enterprises must protect their trademarks with “trademark registration” in order to prevent the third parties to imitate their trademarks, which they use for discriminating their products and services. Trademark registration is the most important and powerful legal way for preventing the use of the exactly same or similar names, logos or distinctive marks as being used. Once your mark is registered, your mark will always appear when third parties undertake a search for a mark or file an application that is similar to your mark by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, which may serve a dual effect on the safe guard even at the first instance.

How are international trademarks under Madrid protocol designating Turkey be processed?

The trademark rights obtained in Turkey as of international registration(s) are protected according to the Turkish IP Law No.6769 in the same manner as the national registered Turkish trademarks. According to the IP Law, the protection commences as from the date of the International Registration takes effect. Where Turkey is designated, the refusal of protection of the International registration for Turkey is to be notified to WIPO within 18 months from the publication date. Where the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office does not notify its decision to WIPO within this time period, the International Registration for the Turkish part is deemed to have effect and confer protection in Turkey.

What is the opposition procedure in Turkey for an international trademark designating Turkey?

The international trademark registration is subject to the same rules of protection and examination as a national Turkish trademark application. Like national Turkish trademark applications, International registration is examined as of “Absolute and Relative Grounds for Refusal” and is also published in the Official Trademarks Bulletin of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office in Turkey.  The term for opposition in Turkey is 2 months as of the publication date.

When a refusal of protection results from an opposition to the granting of protection, the TPTO notifies such refusal to the International Bureau after the expiry of the 18-month time limit.

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