Turkish trademark office indicates it will begin accepting cancellation requests from 2024

When the Industrial Property Code (6769) came into force on 10 January 2017, many IP practitioners were pleasantly surprised to read that under Article 26(2), interested third parties could now seek cancellation of a trademark registration before the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. This was a major development as previously cancellation requests could only be filed before a civil court at the registrant’s jurisdiction. While a large proportion of Turkish business is focused in and around Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – all of which have IP courts – when is a case arose in a rural area, an interested third party faced the challenge of pursuing a civil action in a region with no IP court and where civil court judges were relatively inexperienced in IP matters. One may think that a cancellation action is a straightforward procedure and thus lack of IP experience would not be a major concern. However, experience has taught us that there are always surprises in the practice of law.

The fact that the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (an already highly experienced body when it comes to reviewing and deciding on evidence of use of trademarks) would review cancellation actions was thus considered to be a positive development in Turkish trademark law. However, there was a catch. According to the provisions of Article 192 of the IP Code, the office would only start hearing cancellation requests seven years after the code’s enactment.

In the meantime, the IP Code also enabled applicants to request evidence of use of an opponent’s registered trademark in Turkey. Theoretically speaking, this change helped to prevent or resolve disputes where the registered trademark is not in use.

However, the expiration of the seven-year term is now about 13 months away. There were some rumours that the office might seek an extension, but at the most recent meeting, it clearly stated that there would be no extension and that it would start accepting cancellation requests as of 10 January 2024.

We believe that this development is a positive one, as courts nationwide already have a significant workload. The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office has the necessary experience to deal with such requests and the resolve to fill in any missing framework or personnel during the remaining time. 

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of WTR's co-published content. Read more on Insight

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