Turkey

Trademark practitioners in Turkey have been expressing mixed emotions about the changes ushered in by the Industrial Property Code, which was passed in January 2017; although the new set-up is more aligned with EU rules, there is a lot of ambiguity created by varying decisions issued in recently introduced non-use cancellation actions. As the lawyers come to grips with the complexities of the reforms and stay optimistic about the future of the practice, the political climate in the country remains tense. The state of emergency was lifted in the summer of 2018, but there remains much to be done to boost foreign investor confidence in Turkey.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

Firms: prosecution and strategy

Ankara Patent Bureau 

One of the oldest and most respected IP agencies in Turkey, “Ankara Patent Bureau performs to the highest standards”. It can deploy more than 100 polished staff to handle complex prosecution mandates and manages large-scale portfolios with verve. “The team is always on call and executes instructions with precision. It cultivates lasting relationships with clients and is delightful to work with.” Vigilantly watching over the filing practice is Ekin Dericioğlu Kurt. “Wide-ranging in her knowledge of intellectual property, she is entrusted with difficult cases for important local and foreign businesses and does an excellent job with them. She has a very client-oriented approach and her English skills are superb.” Heading up the legal department is Korcan Dericioğlu, who keeps abreast of all of the latest IP developments globally. Trademark department head Gonca Adalı Başmakcı debuts in the WTR 1000 this year. “She accomplishes the tasks presented to her in a complete, timely and accurate manner. Her guidance is extremely useful, clear and precise.”

ATG Law Firm

ATG Law Firm stands out in terms of quality when it comes to trademark and brand protection. In just a few years, the firm has gained an excellent reputation thanks to remarkable successes in difficult cases. “It goes beyond providing simple advice and devises excellent strategies to bring about the best solutions for clients.” “Ahmet Akgüloğlu and Gizem Akgüloğlu have incredible experience and form the perfect team. Ahmet is especially effective in court and excellent at managing client relationships. A safe pair of hands, Gizem is super switched on commercially and impresses everyone with her enthusiasm and passion.” “The diligent professionals are highly efficient, focused and capable of keeping costs under control. They are immensely helpful and ensure that requests are met within short deadlines.” “Their exceptional knowledge of their country is essential when tackling infringements locally, especially in anti-counterfeiting matters. They target counterfeiters and conduct successful raids, thanks to their effective approach. Ahmet and Gizem have a delightful and open attitude, their advice is clear and pragmatic and their insight is an incredibly valuable resource to count on regardless of whether the client is a small entity or a huge company.”

Deriş Attorney-At-Law Partnership 

Storied outfit Deriş stands out as one of Turkey’s top IP one-stop shops. Its holistic brand protection offering is solidified by adjacent expertise in IT, media, advertising and competition law. It largely acts on behalf of multinational heavyweights and “gets some of the best results of any firm, its strength lies in its in-depth knowledge of its clients’ businesses and the industries in which they operate”. The firm’s battlements are manned by 30 lawyers and 25 trademark attorneys; all of whom “are just great to cooperate with, you can place full trust in them to provide an excellent and proactive service; their work is always on time, clear and cost-effective”. One leading litigator is Okan Can. “Highly responsive, he gives practical, professional and easy to implement advice. Okan does an extremely good job on routine matters, but really excels in complex cases – creative and resourceful, he comes up with numerous solutions.” WTR 1000 debutant Serra Coral knows how to juggle a plethora of instructions and delivers top-notch results on everything from filing to developing anti-counterfeiting strategies, particularly in the luxury goods sector. The managing partner is also well versed in licensing. Founding partner Mehmet Nazim Aydin Deriş is “a living legend with tremendous expertise”. The all-rounder is a key contact for complex pharmaceutical and agro-chemicals regulations issues. The final pillar of the practice, Emre Kerim Yardımcı “has a great understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and renders an excellent service in both prosecution and enforcement. Really efficient and responsive, he knows how to weigh up the probabilities of success and his customer focus is outstanding.”

Erdem, Kaya & Partners

With three strategically located offices in Bursa, Istanbul and Kayseri, Erdem, Kaya & Partners is well equipped to solve any trademark protection conundrum. The ISO 9001:2008-certified practice places an emphasis on consistency and efficiency and utilises the latest IP docketing systems to ensure utmost client satisfaction. Renowned for her seamless strategies and fleet of foot in courtrooms, practice leader Ahu Güneyli is a great contact to have on speed dial.

Esin Attorney Partnership: a member firm of Baker McKenzie International

Unsurprisingly Baker McKenzie is an influential force on the Turkish IP scene. Local branch Esin Attorney Partnership protects clients to the hilt and “provides crucial consultancy” in the licensing and IP transactions space. Working hand in hand with M&A colleagues, the Esin IP lawyers sew up high-value deals with finesse. The team deploys cutting-edge tools, such as eBrevia and Tableau, to streamline IP due diligence activities and grow its database of global trademark prosecution patterns. Shrewd tactician Mine Güner “always offers extremely valuable assistance in trademark filings and has an excellent track record getting favourable outcomes in enforcement”. Her recent highlights include portfolio management for Unilever and clearing the market of infringing products for GoPro.

Gün + Partners 

“Gün + Partners is number one for trademark enforcement and prosecution. In fact, it is Turkey’s leading firm for intellectual property more broadly.” “Proactive, responsive and highly effective it takes clients’ best interests to heart.” Impressive squad depth sets the firm apart; 25 lawyers make a “very competent and highly skilled team that can be relied on to answer trademark questions at any time of the day. Their fees are competitive and a user-friendly accounting procedure is used to produce the bills.” The star-status of the outfit is in no small part due to firm founder Mehmet Gün who is a “phenomenon” in litigation proceedings. Gün has passed the torch of leadership to Uğur Aktekin, who is a “super knowledgeable and incredibly helpful expert who knows how to simplify complex concepts to get the best results”. Aktekin has been absolutely dedicated to the development of IP law in Turkey. Counterfeiters meet their match when faced with the dynamic Zeynep Seda Alhas. Praised for her “open and cooperative” nature, she nonetheless packs a punch in civil and criminal litigation proceedings. Bariş Kalaycı is another favourite in the fight against fakes; he leverages excellent relations with customs and the police to great effect. When contentious issues crop up, Mutlu Yıldırm Köse is the person to call. Praised by peers for her ability to dive into the nitty gritty aspects of a case, she goes the extra mile to achieve favourable settlements for her clients. For incisive brand protection strategies, the “client-oriented and efficient” Hande Hançar Çelik is an absolute no-brainer. While WTR 1000 newcomer Güldeniz Doğan Alkan is “quick to respond and always provides accessible advice on all things relating to brands. She always delivers, whether it is an in-depth analysis or a brief recommendation, and adapts to her clients’ needs rapidly. Güldeniz seems to have an almost uncanny ability to foresee possible outcomes in opposition matters, as her initial assessment rarely differs from the verdict.”

Kenaroğlu Avukatlık Bürosu

“Impressive across the board”, nifty IP boutique Kenaroğlu Avukatlık Bürosu is single minded in its pursuit of excellence but never fails to offer a personal touch. It enforces marks with poise and faces counterfeiters head on, all while keeping a watchful eye over large-scale portfolios. “Its communication is clear and detailed and it is one of the most responsive firms out there.” Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the compact outfit continues to build on its impressive roster of clients and represents some of the most highly esteemed players in the fashion industry. Yasemin Kenaroğlu leaves foreign associates “in awe of her trademark savvy, she is a fantastic and intelligent IP lawyer with a super-friendly approach.” The firm founder also shares her wisdom on the non-contentious front and puts in place cast-iron protection schemes. Operating in a similar vein, Yasemin Aktaş Dağ stands by Kenaroğlu’s side as co-head of the litigation department, she is a smooth negotiator who thrives when handling complicated disputes. The vibrant duo are “very cost conscious and always ready to give concise and effective solutions that fit the bill perfectly. The quality of their work is simply outstanding.”

Moroğlu Arseven 

Gold-tier Moroğlu Arseven registers and enforces marks with panache, serving an assortment of famous international clients such as Starbucks and Twitter, to name but two. “The team reacts to requests quickly, gets good results and, most importantly, operates in a highly professional and cost-effective way.” Inspiring leader Işık Özdoğan is “one of the best and brightest trademark lawyers in Turkey”, widely respected in the industry and a repository of trust for major global brands. “She is a strong litigator and has a great feel for the chances of success in a conflict. She has a fantastic understanding of business needs and will not hesitate to direct you on the best route to take – everything she says is backed up by solid reasoning.” Özdoğan is flanked by Ezgi Baklacı Gülkokar and Gökçe İzgi. Baklacı confects anti-counterfeiting campaigns that catch out even the stealthiest of fakers. While İzgi, like Özdoğan, is “not one to shy away from giving a frank opinion, she explains procedural issues really well and ensures clients make the right choice”.

NSN Law Firm

NSN Law firm handles sprawling portfolios with finesse and keeps a level head when things get heated in court. Providing inspired leadership is the “brilliant” Selma Ünlü. She gives “essential support” to big-name brands in the pharmaceutical industry and “doesn’t break a sweat when working to tight deadlines, the combination of her sector knowledge and regulatory expertise make her the perfect partner in litigation proceedings”. Testament to her high standing, Ünlü also acts as an expert before the commercial and IP courts. Another life sciences aficionado, Gülay Göksu showcases her adroitness as both a trademark attorney and a pin-sharp litigator.

OFO VENTURA 

Operating as a well-oiled machine, OFO VENTURA registers marks efficiently, enforces them tenaciously and gets signatures on the dotted line of licensing agreements without ever compromising on quality. The firm may be compact, but it is a redoubtable force in the courtroom and its continuous expansion is turning heads in the market. Founding partner Özlem Fütman matches granular IP knowledge with refined commercial sensibilities.

Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak

Acting in association with French powerhouse Gide Loyrette Nouel, full-service outfit Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak marries eye-catching international capabilities with excellent local expertise. “One of the best out there for anti-counterfeiting matters, it obtains fantastic results and makes the fight against counterfeiters in Turkey an easy task. Its strength lies in its availability, proactivity and business-oriented recommendations.” A tried-and-true litigator, practice spearhead Esra Dündar Loiseau is “without a doubt the best anti-counterfeiting specialist there is”. She is equally versatile and can whip any portfolio into shape. Loiseau works closely with WTR 1000 neophyte Arzu Bekem, who thrives in the digital realm. Bekem is well-versed in the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy and frequently enjoys success before the WIPO.

Stock Industrial Property Services AS

“Stock Industrial Property Services is one of the most well-established IP firms in the country and maintains an outstanding prosecution practice. Highly diligent and professional, it makes meaningful contributions to the development of the IP landscape in Turkey.” Set up in 1887, the outfit manages the portfolios of international conglomerates as well as small businesses and has recently broadened its horizons by taking on several court battles. “Ömer Dündar possesses a thorough knowledge of Turkish law and a wealth of experience.” “He is always on hand to deal with urgent issues and is supported by an excellent team. Clients remain loyal to him not out of convenience but based on his merit.” He works shoulder to shoulder with Kazim Dündar who knows how to resolve even the most heated conflicts.

Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm

Suluk Intellectual Property maintains a robust A-to-Z brand protection practice. Seeing to routine trademark tasks efficiently, the IP boutique displays outstanding strength in geographical indications and domain name disputes. “All of the practitioners are extremely knowledgeable. They deliver work on time and respond to questions instantly.” The “highly reputed and conscientious” founding partner Cahit Suluk “handles matters with extraordinary expertise”. He knows IP legislation like the back of his hand, having written 14 books and over 40 articles on the subject, and he is never afraid of being put to the test in thorny litigations. A seasoned court advocate, Suluk also has a deft touch in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. On the non-contentious side, Zeynep Balçık takes the reins. She draws on her skills in trademark-adjacent areas, such as unfair competition and advertising, to render all-encompassing wraparound support to her clients.

Other recommended experts

IctemLegal’s Serkan Içtem is a key ally to have on your side in a branding battle – his advocacy skills are absolutely impeccable. He also has a knack for closing IP-rich deals.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Individuals: prosecution and strategy