Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa Kemal, who was later honored with the title Ataturk, or "Father of the Turks."
Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. Although recently fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community in 1964, and over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy, enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the European Union.
Who May Apply?
The following may apply for registration in Turkey:
1. Persons who have a domicile in Turkey;
2. Individuals and corporations who deal with industrial and commercial actions;
3. Persons who have the right to apply based on the Paris Convention and TRIPs; 4. Foreigners who have the right to apply due to reciprocity.
What Can Be Registered?
Marks that are distinctive and nondescriptive may be registered.
Specifically, the following may be registered: all words including personal names, images (pictures, labels, relieves, emblems, logos, and holograms), and letters and numbers that can be depicted by a drawing, can be expressed in similar form, can be published by print, and can be copied. Foreign marks can be registered without a copy of the mark in the original language.
Collective and guarantee (certification) marks may also be registered.
What Cannot Be Registered?
Absolute grounds for rejections of registration of marks appear in Law Decree 556 Article 7. Under this Decree, the following may not
1. Marks not included in Article 5 (this article gives the definition of a mark written above);
2. Marks that are the same as or similar to registered marks for the same or similar goods or services;
3. Marks which indicate breed, sort, quality, attribute, purpose, worth, quantity, or geographical source or which define the time
of production of goods or services or which specify the other characteristic feature signs or names used exclusively or as a
primary component in a commercial area;
4. Marks used commonly in a commercial area or used for the distinctiveness of a specific group like commerce, business, or
art, exclusively or as a primary component;
5. Marks which give the good its own shape or gives intrinsic value occurring from the origin or as a result of technical necessity;
6. Marks which have misleading features relating to the goods and services, such as attributes, quality, or place of production;
7. Marks not authorized according to the Paris Convention Article 2nd reiterated 6th and therefore subject to rejection;
8. Marks prohibited by the Paris Convention Article 2nd reiterated 6th and concerning public figures or historical and cultural
assets such as a coat of arms, pennant, emblems, or decoration for which authorization has not been granted;
9. Well-known marks, without permission from the real owner according to the Paris Convention Article 1st reiterated 6th;
10. Marks which comprise religious merit and symbols;
11. Marks which are incongruous with the public, or which portray historical people in a bad light, which are contrary to the morality of the public, and which encourage the public to form bad habits and which encourage disobedience.
12. Polyhedrons (three-dimensional shapes) may not yet be registered but are under consideration.
13. Scent and sound marks may not yet be registered.
If a third-party can prove use prior to a subsequent application for registration by another party, the registration can be revoked.
However, after registration, a third-party cannot register the same mark in the same goods and services. If it is registered, the owner of the mark can oppose the same or similar marks.
The following are required for applications for registration:'
1. A petition of application that shows the identity of the applicant.
2. Five samples of the mark that are 7 x 7 cm and suitable for publication and copying. The samples may be in colors.
3. The list of goods and services on which the mark will be used.
4. The original copy of the document indicating payment of the application fee.
5. The original copy of the document indicating the payment for the class or classes.
6. Power of attorney (if an attorney is utilized).
7. If the applicant is a corporate body, its list of authorized signers.
8. A document confirming the applicant's activeness in commerce.
9. If the application demands a preferential right, a document confirming such right.
10. Application fee paid with the application form.
11. Simple signed power of attorney is sufficient.
Each trademark application must be filed separately. Residency or a physical presence in Turkey is not necessary to file applications for
Evaluation & Review
The Institute examines applications for registration and checks for conformance with statutory requirements.' If a preferential right is demanded, the Institute considers it separately. The Institute also checks for rights in the applicant to apply for registration and considers any relevant absolute grounds for refusal.
Registration protection lasts for 10 years beginning from the application date and must be renewed every 10 years by payment of a renewal fee.' The Institute typically informs owners of the upcoming renewal but may not be held responsible or liable for any failure to do so. Registrations may be renewed during .a period beginning six months before and ending six months after the 10-year registration period. Failure to renew the registration before the expiration of this
period results in the abandonment (invalidity) of the registration. Renewals are registered and published.
The nonuse of the mark without good cause after the registration date or the discontinuance of the usage of the mark for five years results in cancellation of the trademark.'
The following actions are accepted as use:
- Use of variations of the mark that do not change the distinctive character of the registered mark.
- Use of the mark on the goods or packages for import.
- Use of the mark by a third party with the owner's permission.
- Exportation of goods bearing the mark.
The owner need not provide the trademark office with a declaration of use. However, if a third party files a suit for the cancellation based on nonuse or discontinued use for five years, the owner must prove the use.
Top-level and sub domain names include Com.tr, info.tr, and biz.tr, each of which may be used by individuals and corporations alike. Use of XXX.tr is not permitted. Applications for registration of domain names are submitted to Middle East Technical University.'
An enterprise abroad may register a domain name with tr. A trademark owner may register its mark as a domain name. However, the first to seek registration of a domain name generally has priority. Therefore, the timing of domain-name registrations is important.
Nevertheless, the owner of a trademark should provide a copy of the trademark registration, which is provided to TPI.
Domain names can be registered as trademarks as well. Domain , names should have at least two characters.
The following forms of relief are available to trademark owners in infringement cases:'
1. Cessation of infringing acts;
2. Forfeiture of material gain andlor compensation;
3. Seizure of the means of infringement, including goods bearing the marks and the equipment used to apply the marks to the
4. Acknowledgment on goods of the property rights of the real owner. However, the cost of this relief will be subtracted from
any compensation amount. If this amount is more than the compensation amount, the trademark owner must pay the excess
to the other party;
5. Measures to prevent the continuation of the infringement of trademark rights, especially removal of the trademarks from the
seized goods and disabling or destruction of the means of applying it to the goods;
6. Notification to concerned parties the publication of the verdict.
All expenses will be paid by the trademark infringer. Goods bearing counterfeit trademarks can be impounded by the
Customs Control during importation or exportation at the request of the rightful mark owner. After the confiscation, the owner must file
suit in court' within 10 days; otherwise, the confiscation decision will be null and void.