The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) has been come in for effusive praise of late, with practitioners highlighting its overall speed, the quality of its examiners and the uniformity of its decision making. On the litigation front, the recent introduction of mandatory mediation as a precursor to both non-monetary and monetary claims in IP disputes has had a mixed reception. While it may result in an uptick in amicable settlements, some parties may also use it in bad faith to prolong the already lengthy and costly dispute resolution process. Rights holders are also ramping up their monitoring activity in response to a reported surge in fakes. Although physical marketplaces are still a cause for concern, there has also been an increase in smaller online consignments and practitioners are working closely with customs officials and investigators to avoid counterfeiting headaches.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

Firms: prosecution and strategy

Ankara Patent Bureau 

One of Turkey’s longest-serving firms, the “highly respected” Ankara Patent is “a fantastic choice for prosecution work”. With a team of 100 engineers, business consultants and lawyers on deck, who know Turkish legislation off by heart and also understand the ins and outs of international trademark regimes, it always brings added value for its cosmopolitan clientele. Taking the reins, Gonca Adalı Başmakcı comes highly recommended for her “efficient and thorough approach, as well as her strong leadership skills”. Adalı Başmakcı adeptly manages large-scale portfolios in the pharmaceutical and electronics sector. Dual-qualified as a trademark agent and attorney at law, Korcan Dericioğlu provides holistic counsel and long-term strategies that sit well with Fortune 500 companies. He supplements his prosecution practice with substantial expertise in domain name dispute resolution. Joining them in the WTR 1000 this year, Ekin Karakuş Öcal heads up the legal department and has carved out a niche in the field of geographical indications (GIs). She frequently lectures on the subject and also sits on the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property’s (AIPPI) GI standing committee.

ATG Law Firm 

“Customer oriented, responsive and easy to work with, ATG exceeds expectations when it comes to service quality. The team is proactive and results driven – even in the most complex of cases, you are guaranteed a creative, technically reliable solution.” This one-stop shop prosecutes marks with aplomb, but its real forte is enforcement and anti-counterfeiting, where it consistently secures stellar results – especially in a market where raid orders are hard to obtain. The brains behind the ensemble’s continued success are Ahmet Akgüloğlu and Gizem Akgüloğlu, who can tend to the full brand lifecycle between them. “Ahmet’s solid understanding of the law and 24/7 availability, as well as his positive attitude, really make a difference to clients. He and Gizem are dependable attorneys who offer a bespoke service at flexible price point. They are the best lawyers around and the passion they have for their work is evident from the outset.”

Deriş Attorney-At-Law Partnership 

“At Deriş, you get a dedicated and creative team of experts who think outside the box and not only advise on legal subject matter, but also help clients to find the best route forward from a strategic point of view. To top it off, they reply quickly and are fun to work with too.” The storied outfit combines the strengths of its lawyers and trademark attorneys to handle hundreds of mandates each year on behalf of some of the world’s top luxury, entertainment and pharmaceutical players. Bringing robust leadership to the group, Emre Kerim Yardımcı and Serra Coral deftly traverse the contentious/non-contentious divide and are widely recognised for their percipient filing strategies and exceptional courtroom capabilities. Kerim Yardımcı attracts praise for his “excellent responsiveness and customer focus. He swiftly gets to grips with the essence of an issue and provides clear, hands-on, cost-effective advice”. Okan Çan has cemented his position as “one of the best litigators in the country. He is knowledgeable, practical and simply a fantastic attorney”. Can also has an impressive enforcement practice and pairs up with customs officials to rid the market of fake goods, particularly in the fields of perfumes and luxury goods. He frequently combines with WTR 1000 debutant Feride Utku, who oversees the anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy unit. IP stalwart Mehmet Nazim Aydin Deriş is the firm’s talisman. He has seen and done it all in the trademark world, and generously shares his wisdom with colleagues and peers.

Esin Attorney Partnership, Member of Baker McKenzie International

Operating as the Turkish arm of global powerhouse Baker McKenzie, Esin Attorney Partnership marries deep local expertise with enviable international resources. Its innovative tools are state of the art too – for example, its bespoke MAPS system efficiently assesses potential counterfeits and gives brand owners real-time access to their enforcement programmes. The practice has recently onboarded several new clients, including British American Tobacco, whose 1,000-plus portfolio is ably managed by IP lead Mine Güner. On the non-contentious front, she assists major household names such as HSBC and LVMH; while Hasbro and Unilever rely on her for 360-degree brand protection.

Gün + Partners 

“A highly esteemed firm with a phenomenal reputation” is the verdict on Gün + Partners – and with good reason. It actively contributes to the development of intellectual property at both a national and regional level, participates in industry thought leadership and has one-third of the world’s most valuable brands under its stewardship. “Gün’s practitioners have exceptional knowledge of the law and opt for a flexible approach while adjusting their advice and possible solutions to clients’ business needs.” IP visionary Mehmet Gün has spent over four decades of experience in the field and is a revered member of the international legal community. Practice co-chair Uğur Aktekin “is always strategically inclined and never loses sight of the bigger picture. His knowledge of policies and procedures is spot on, and he has real expertise in achieving positive outcomes in complex and evidence-heavy disputes”. Leading the anti-counterfeiting and investigations troop is “skilled and commercially oriented tactician” Barış Kalaycı, who “provides sound advice that accounts for the business practicalities of the companies he assists and instils them with confidence”. Also taking a stand in the fight against fakes, Zeynep Seda Alhas garners warm plaudits from patrons: “She is not only a great lawyer with a perfect understanding of the law, but is also pragmatic and finds solutions that fit our needs, which comes from a deep understanding of our complex company profile.” Dyed-in-the-wool litigator Hande Hançar commands respect for her tenacity, thoroughness and diligence in dispute resolution. Astute strategist Güldeniz Doğan Alkan is equally adroit in courtroom proceedings as she is in oppositions; while the versatile Mutlu Yıldırım Köse maintains a broad practice encompassing trademarks, copyright, domain names and unfair competition. On the prosecution front, Pinar Arikan ensures that everything runs smoothly: “She gives clear-cut and practical recommendations that allow companies to consider and evaluate their national strategies. Her insight is priceless.”

Kenaroğlu Avukatlik Burosu 

Whether in prosecution or enforcement, Kenaroğlu Avukatlik Burosu “excels across the board. It has proven its reliability time and time again, and consistently delivers excellent legal advice in a quick turnaround”. “It takes the country’s developments into consideration and its services are always spot on. Overall, it can be summarised in one statement – a success story.” “An inspiration to others around her”, founder Yasemin Kenaroğlu continuously finds new ways to innovate and go the extra mile for clients: “A go-to for trademark instructions, Yasemin is a fantastic and intelligent attorney with a friendly and clear communication style. She demonstrates her thorough legal knowledge by providing alternative solutions to complex problems and by being proactive and resolute in negotiations as well as conflict management. Her personalised approach and in-depth understanding of each case make her stand out in the fast-paced world of intellectual property.”

Moroğlu Arseven 

Top-tier general practice Moroğlu Arseven has a tried-and-tested IP department which can draw on all the resources of the wider firm while functioning in the style of a boutique. Its lawyers work together as a cohesive unit and their mastery of trademarks has caught the attention of household names such as Starbucks, Twitter and Amazon. “The team is super-responsive, offers full support and achieves brilliant results at a reasonable cost.” Group leader Işık Özdoğan frequently joins forces with Gökçe İzgi and Ezgi Baklacı Gülkokar to carry the day in any branding scenario. “Işık and Gökçe are really attentive and reliable, which is exactly what businesses want. They deal with instructions quickly and look for alternative ways to bring cases to a successful conclusion. I know that my matters are in good hands,” enthuses one client. Another highlights Ezgi’s “work ethic, flexibility and detailed yet crystal-clear reports”. “They are outstanding lawyers who can overcome obstacles through creative argumentation and deep knowledge of the ins and outs of the national court system. They are the first choice for trademark work in the country.”

NSN Law Firm 

“A first-class firm in Turkey”, NSN provides “detailed, cost-effective guidance that is both legal and practical. It combines its IP know-how with extensive experience in managing international portfolios and profound litigation capabilities to deliver a meticulous service and create strategies that minimise the risk of future conflicts.” Senior partner Selma Ünlü “is everything you could ask for in a lawyer. Her advice is quick, concise and always considers a company’s commercial concerns. She is also happy to explore alternative options which ultimately meet her clients’ needs and is flexible on fees”. Working alongside her are all-rounders Gülay Göksu and Simge Şahin. “Gülay’s commercially oriented approach, exceptional level of litigation support and remarkable ability to communicate the impact that local laws will have on a dispute always prove invaluable.” Şahin breaks into the WTR 1000 for the stellar results she has secured in opposition work for Lifestyle Equities, the owner of the BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB mark, and for her decisive action against an infringer on behalf of Barbour.

OFO VENTURA Intellectual Property & Litigation 

“The OFO Ventura team handles all phases of brand protection with utmost professionalism. It analyses files in great detail, reacts quickly and tailors its methods to each company it assists.” Lately the ensemble has been representing heavy-hitters in the media and fashion industries before the TPTO as well as the courts. Founding partner Özlem Futman “is one of the most respected attorneys internationally and can always be counted on for sound, focused and practical advice at a fair price. A special skill is her ability to get down to brass tacks with the TPTO and find a suitable way forward. She knows when to push ahead as well as when to settle and has never been wrong in her judgement”. Colleague Yasemin Aktaş “brings a positive energy to the firm. She does not just simply acknowledge instructions, but works together with brands to find optimum solutions and gives clear, precise and succinct advice. Yasemin thinks creatively, has a great eye for detail and achieves exquisite results”.

Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak

Renowned full-service French outfit Gide Loyrette Nouel has a solid foothold in Turkey through corresponding firm Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak. While the IP unit is just as proficient at prosecuting marks as it is at defending them, its claim to fame is anti-counterfeiting, where its formidable capabilities have not gone unnoticed by peers and players in regulated industries. Leader of the pack and versatile lawyer Esra Dündar Loiseau “has great communication skills as well as a refreshingly friendly and direct approach. A trustworthy professional, she understands business needs, is always transparent and manages expectations really well”. Responsible for overseeing seizures and the destruction of fakes, Arzu Bekem is gaining visibility on the market for her robust enforcement skillset. She also has a vibrant domain name practice.

Stock Intellectual Property Services AS

“A longstanding name in Turkey”, Stock Intellectual Property Services has been providing precision prosecution services since 1887. It manages the portfolios of multinational corporations and helps local businesses to build and maintain a presence on the domestic market with verve. No mere filing shop, Stock has also been handling its fair share of disputes lately, and Müge Kurtbeyoğlu Uzgör and Esra Ter make their debuts in the guide this year as a result. Director of litigation Uzgör capitalises on her unfair competition knowledge to nip infringements in the bud; while Ter has been actively involved in the development of the IP profession at a national level as a founder of AIPPI’s Turkish chapter. Chairman Kazim Dündar and vice-chair Ömer Dündar set the bar for excellence. Acting as a business partner rather than external counsel, Kazim has an instinct for identifying where brand value lies; while the “renowned Ömer commands respect from the market” for his exemplary output.

Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm

“Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm impresses with its high standard of work, 24/7 availability and competitive pricing models. Its comprehensive support in all areas of intellectual property, vast expertise and understanding of different industries bring positive results.” The architect behind its upwards trajectory is Cahit Suluk: “He possesses a wealth of knowledge which he combines with his profound experience to bring about creative and novel methods to challenging cases.” Colleague Zeynep Balçık “expertly handles delicate and complex matters. She provides individually tailored advice in a quick turnaround time”.

Other recommended experts

At IçtemLegal, Serkan Içtem is the person to call for transactional work; he has smoothly negotiated and driven just about every type of IP-rich deal imaginable.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Individuals: prosecution and strategy