Turkey

Turkish practitioners are still experiencing teething issues with the Industrial Property Code, which entered into force in January 2017. In particular, non-use cancellation actions continue to be surrounded by ambiguity – while the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) has published guidelines and other resources in an attempt to provide clarity, there is still much that needs to be done to establish precedent. Moreover, the code has been amended recently to bring about some important changes. The requirement for notarised signature declarations has been removed and oppositions that have not yet been decided on by the TPTO can now be withdrawn without incurring costs. These revisions should help to cut down on the amount of paperwork and ultimately speed up the TPTO’s processes. As IP awareness continues to spread in the region, there has been a noted increase in applications received by the TPTO in comparison with 2018 – a significant proportion of these can be attributed to Turkish companies. On the contentious front, as of 1 January 2019, mediation has been introduced as a pre-condition of bringing a lawsuit before the courts. For the time being, this relates only to IP disputes in which compensation or payment of a certain amount is requested; however, it may become mandatory for other types of dispute in future. The change has been met with mixed emotions. On the one hand, the workload of the already overburdened IP courts should fall but on the other hand, the regulation lacks clarity and will prolong an already lengthy enforcement process.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

Firms: prosecution and strategy

Ankara Patent Bureau 

Over 50 years in the game, Ankara Patent Bureau is one of the most experienced outfits in the country. The elite prosecution shop knows the commercial lay of the land and can anticipate any obstacles that may arise. A 100-strong team stands poised and ready to grapple with issues in the life sciences, mechanical engineering and electronics fields. Heading up the trademark department is portfolio management superstar Gonca Adalı Başmakcı. “She offers useful, accurate and thorough advice. When it comes to giving instructions, they are always clear and precise. Gonca is a pleasure to work with.” Her teammate and all-round practitioner Korcan Dericioğlu excels in the art of strategy; he is loved by Fortune 500 companies.

ATG Law Firm

“Clients are always fully satisfied with the outstanding quality of service that ATG Law Firm provides.” With an exhaustive IP service menu to choose from, it comes as no surprise that the outfit continues to go from strength to strength each year, growing not only the volume of its work, but also its highly impressive international client base. Working side by side Ahmet Akgüloğlu and Gizem Akgüloğlu form the dream team. “Ahmet is a very proactive, effective and persistent lawyer. He deftly navigates the legal system to find an optimum solution that will meet his client’s business needs.” Gizem is praised for her “efficiency, speed and customer-oriented nature”. “They are both incredibly skilled and passionate about their work; they exhaust all their options to achieve stellar results and do so with a positive attitude. All in all, it is remarkably easy to work with Ahmet and Gizem.”

Deriş Attorney-At-Law Partnership 

Istanbul-based Deriş is one of the strongest firms in the country; it brings together trademark attorneys and attorneys at law under one roof to provide 360-degree brand protection. “The team develops innovative ideas to combat counterfeits and recommends several courses of action to tackle infringers. It weighs up the probabilities of success, keeps costs in mind and communicates politely and assertively. The unit works together quickly and efficiently to deliver and adapt its processes to best suit each client.” Okan Can stands out from the crowd as “a fantastic litigator and the best strategist in Turkey. Not only is he knowledgeable and practical, he is also friendly and a pleasure to work with.” Recently, he worked intensively with foreign associates to secure a massive win for Harvard University in a widely publicised battle regarding the unauthorised licensing of the institution’s name. Managing Partner Serra Coral keeps up to date with developments globally, adding more oomph to her licensing practice. In Mehmet Nazim Aydin Deriş, colleagues, patrons and peers have an indispensable sounding board. He is “a phenomenon of the IP industry” and has seen it all. “Emre Kerim Yardımcı renders his services across prosecution and enforcement to our full satisfaction,” enthuses one client. “He has a great understanding of the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. His responsiveness and customer focus is excellent, too.”

Esin Attorney Partnership: a member firm of Baker McKenzie International

Global titan Baker McKenzie maintains a strong presence in Turkey through its local outpost Esin Attorney Partnership. Domestic and international hard hitters snap up the holistic counsel and latest technology that are on offer here. Recently, head of the IP department Mine Güner has been busy filing applications on Hasbro’s behalf, as well as devising plans to successfully safeguard Unilever’s Vaseline brand. General Motors and General Electric are other noteworthy clients of hers. Güner is equally as savvy in trademark disputes as she is in the non-contentious sphere.

Gün + Partners 

“Market leading Gün + Partners is a fantastic firm for trademark prosecution and enforcement mandates.” One interviewee comments: “The team is a great partner to us. The work is quick and of an incredibly high standard – it provides regular updates and is thorough in its analysis. It keeps our needs at the forefront, all while being cost conscious and flexible. Legal procedures in Turkey can be quite complex and Gün + Partners is perfect at helping you navigate it”. Mehmet Gün has stood at the forefront of the IP industry for more than four decades, shaping national laws and building up a star-studded practice. “For complicated matters that require close cooperation, Uğur Aktekin is the one to call – he can pull a rabbit out of a hat in even the most difficult of cases. He is incredibly reliable and the advice he provides is always clear and helpful.” Clients and peers are full of praise for anti-counterfeiting specialist Zeynep Seda Alhas. “She is a terrific lawyer and full of positive energy, which definitely translates into her work. Zeynep has a clear understanding of the law, a keen intellect and is a zealous advocate for her client’s interests. She is also very tenacious and can work magic with reluctant judges.” Another fake goods guru is Barış Kalaycı, who leads the firm’s in-house investigations team and brings about high-value seizures as a result. Versatile practitioner Güldeniz Doğan Alkan is a firm favourite for her “attentive partnership. She can be relied on for her for her swift and to-the-point recommendations. Clients are extremely satisfied with her work.” When contentious matters crop up Hande Hançar “is the go-to lawyer. She prides herself on her comprehensive, practical and diligent legal advice – which is evident in the final product”. The “friendly Mutlu Yıldırım Köse is highly recommended to those seeking solid and clear counsel on non-traditional marks”. WTR 1000 debutant and director of the prosecution practice, Pinar Arikan “is one of the country’s leading specialists on the matter. She provides commercially focused advice and achieves great results for clients whether she is defending or acting for them”.

Kenaroğlu Avukatlik Burosu

“Kenaroğlu Avukatlik Burosu excels in both prosecution and enforcement.” One client comments, “we have never worked with a firm that is as responsive or a firm that provides such clear and detailed advice”. Praise continues to flow in from more associates: “Kenaroğlu is highly recommended for complex instructions – the success rate is great.” “The practitioners are highly cooperative. They see a case for what it is and are great at getting amicable settlements.” The past year has seen the outfit sign on new clients from the fashion industry as its anti-counterfeiting offering continues to grow. “Yasemin Kenaroğlu is the first choice for trademark counsel in Turkey. She is proactive and provides effective ideas and strategies to achieve an optimum solution. Yasemin is customer oriented and is always ready to go the distance.”

Moroğlu Arseven 

“Top-notch outfit Moroğlu Arseven can hop between tricky oppositions, clearance opinions and counterfeit seizures with ease and do it all at a reasonable price point.” The ensemble is “practical, flexible and reliable. It delivers spot-on advice, which gives associates overseas the confidence that they need to respond to their clients quickly”. The unit has quickly become a repository of trust for many household names including Starbucks, Amazon, FIFA and Tommy Hilfiger. “The team gets great results in extremely delicate cases” thanks to the robust leadership provided by Işık Özdoğan. Deftly navigating through all stages of a trademark’s lifecycle, “she has a wealth of experience and is incredibly quick with her responses”. Özdoğan works closely with Ezgi Baklacı Gülkokar and Gökçe İzgi. Baklacı specialises in multifaceted strategies that can catch out any infringer. Asset commercialisation is second nature to İzgi, who deploys “business-minded and clear advice quickly and consistently”.

NSN Law Firm

“A premier choice, NSN Law Firm continually provides clients with timely and detailed advice in all phases of brand protection. The set is efficient and great to work with; it outlines possible next steps and provides cost estimates for recommended actions – the service is great value for money.” Hot-shot litigator Selma Ünlü lives and breathes intellectual property. “She provides profound advice that ties in several areas of expertise and considers regulatory issues. Her work is excellent and her network of domestic and international contacts even better.” Flanking her, Gülay Göksu “is always professional and courteous. She protects her client’s commercial interests with her comprehensive advice and rapid service”.

OFO VENTURA 

“OFO Ventura inspires confidence.” A great pick for A-to-Z services, the unit is “trustworthy, enjoyable to work with and exhibits the highest level of skill. To top it off, its fee structure is transparent and easy on the pocketbook”. Firm founder and all-rounder “Özlem Futman is an excellent source for trademark work. She provides valuable, well-rounded and personalised assistance in a clear way. Özlem speaks from experience and knows which questions to ask to recommend the best solutions”. A new arrival to OFO Ventura, Yasemin Aktaş has a diverse practice. “She replies to communications swiftly and thoroughly. She puts in a great deal of effort and you can see she is passionate about her work.”

Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak

Full-service firm Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak works in association with French heavyweight Gide Loyrette Nouel to deliver internationally minded counsel that works with the practicalities of the Turkish legal landscape. “One of the best for anti-counterfeiting work, the team pursues its client’s objectives vigilantly. It overcomes each hurdle and gets the best results – its work is truly admirable.” Leading in the fight against fakes, Esra Dündar Loiseau “is one of the most reliable litigators in the country. She has great experience and a real understanding of her client’s needs. Esra implements strong strategies quickly and efficiently and has a great track record in court”. When she is not tracking down infringers alongside Loiseau, Arzu Bekem turns her hand to tackling domain name disputes before WIPO.

Stock Industrial Property Services AS

“Stock Industrial Property is great for non-contentious instructions; the quality is brilliant and the attorneys are really reliable.” Operating for more than a century, Stock is not just a prosecution shop, the outfit hits the nail on the head in enforcement matters, too. “Ömer Dündar exemplifies the excellence of the firm. He is a first-rate lawyer: his risk assessments are accurate, his advice is comprehensive and his drafting is incredibly clear.” A fount of wisdom, Kazim Dündar has seen all there is to see in the trademark world and dishes out indispensable guidance as a result.

Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm

Fully devoted to its clientele, Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm sees brand protection through from start to finish. It registers marks flawlessly, enforces them with panache and knows how to get signatures on the bottom line of IP-rich deals. The IP boutique’s grade A reputation is due in no small part to founder and widely respected litigator Cahit Suluk. He is a recognised trademark authority and acts as an expert before the Civil and Criminal Courts. Spearheading the prosecution division, Zeynep Balçık constructs ideal portfolio building strategies and “keeps clients updated throughout. She is extremely helpful, provides clear explanations and is responsive to requests”.

Other recommended experts

Serkan Içtem is a reference for many Turkish and European companies looking to protect their IP rights. He readily draws on his M&A and corporate expertise to negotiate the best deals for his clients. IçtemLegal is the base of his operations.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Individuals: prosecution and strategy