Use of emblem for GIs and traditional products now mandatory

Turkey
  • It is now mandatory to use an emblem on products protected by GIs and on traditional products
  • There is no exemption for products put on the market before the obligation came into force
  • Such obligation is expected to raise awareness of GIs and traditional products among consumers and manufacturers

 

The new Turkish Industrial Property Law (6769) entered into force last year, setting forth new obligations such as the use of an emblem - to be created by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) - on products (and/or their packaging) protected by registered geographical indications (GIs) and on traditional products (and/or their packaging), along with the name of the GI or traditional product. Such use is aimed at informing consumers that a product is protected by a GI or is a traditional product. The new regulation regarding the use of such emblems, which was prepared in accordance with Articles 2 and 46 of the law, entered into force on January 10 2018.

According to the new regulation, an emblem can be used by the parties engaged in the production or marketing of products protected by GIs or traditional products in line with the conditions mentioned in their registration. It is now mandatory to use an emblem on a product (and/or its packaging) protected by a GI, along with the name of the GI. However, such obligation is not in force for GIs belonging to other countries that should be protected according to bilateral and/or multilateral agreements to which Turkey is a party.

The emblem must be visible on the product or its packaging, along with the name of the GI or traditional product. If an emblem cannot be used on the product, it must be used in the business place, in plain sight.

The shape and colour of the various emblems were published as an annex to the regulation. According to such publication, the colour red is used for designations of origin and the colour green is used for GIs, while the colour turquoise is used for traditional products. The language on the emblems must be Turkish for GIs or traditional products that are put on market in Turkey. On the other hand, for products subject to foreign trade, emblems prepared by the TPTO in English can be used.  

 

 

 

Emblem for GIs

Emblem for designations of origin

Emblem for traditional products

 

 

 

The emblem appropriate to the type of registration can be obtained from the website of the TPTO. Changes or amendments to the emblems are prohibited by the regulation, so it is mandatory to use them as they are.

No exemption was introduced in the legislation for products which were put on the market before the regulation came into force. As of January 10 2018, it is mandatory for these products to be used with the relevant emblems.

Use of an emblem aims to inform consumers that the product is protected by a GI or is a traditional product. The parties in charge of the production or marketing of such products are obliged to follow the required steps, starting from the production line to the point where the product comes into contact with consumers, including - but not limited to - the storage, delivery and sale of the products, in line with the conditions set forth in the registration certificate. They shall make every effort to comply with the particulars specified in the registration certificate, so that the distinctive features of the GI or traditional product are not impaired. The obligation to use an emblem is expected to raise awareness of GIs and traditional products among consumers, as well as manufacturers.

Ceylin Beyli and Elfiye Kudaki, CBL Law Office, Istanbul

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