Selma Ünlü

Senior Partner at NSN Law Firm
Ranked in Turkey
WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise

Gold - Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Gold - Individuals: prosecution and strategy

“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.

Selma Ünlü's Profile

Selma Ünlü is a senior partner of NSN Law Firm. She graduated from the Marmara University Faculty of Law in 1989 and obtained her diploma in private international law from Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom.

Ms Ünlü has special expertise in life sciences, IP litigation and transaction. She is qualified both as a trademark and patent attorney, is an accredited, court-appointed expert before the specialised IP courts and commercial courts of Istanbul for IP and IT-related disputes, as well as a panellist forWIPO and the Czech Arbitration Centre for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy proceedings.

Her extensive legal experience developed over 30 years has led to her recognition by WTR 100, Legal 500, IAM 1000, Managing Intellectual Property, Who’s Who Legal, UK Monthly Lawyer and Chambers & Partners as being among the world’s best IP practitioners with special expertise in life sciences law. She has repeatedly been chosen among the Top 250 Women IP Lawyers by Managing Intellectual Property since 2017.

Ms Ünlü has significant experience in advising major local and international clients on cross-border IP matters with regard to both litigation and consultancy aspects. She has handled the IP and life sciences portfolios of multinational companies for almost three decades, and obtaining cutting-edge precedents in countless court actions. She acts in a wide range of contentious matters, particularly those involving complex regulation. She advises companies on content and technology development and licensing, e-commerce, advertising and distribution. She also advises advertising agencies, television and radio broadcasters, social network operators, online retailers and consumer electronics manufacturers on legal clearance of advertisements, online gambling, labelling and packaging.

Ms Ünlü frequently speaks at domestic and international conferences about intellectual property and life sciences regulations. She has published profusely on various areas of IP law and helped to shape the protection of pharmaceutical trademarks in Turkey.

Firm Profile

Intellectual property is the core practice of NSN Law Firm. With nine partners and around 30 lawyers, the firm provides an ‘all in one’ IP law service that is reflected in the firm’s practice groups – namely the copyright practice group, the trademark and design practice group, the advertising practice group and the patent and life sciences practice group.

The firm strives to meet its clients’ diverse needs in various industries by providing tailor-made and creative solutions. The firm’s dedicated service approach helps clients stand out in their respective sectors; this approach also means that the firm is involved in cutting-edge litigations leading to landmark decisions.

Located in Istanbul, NSN has associate offices in three big cities of Turkey, which enables it to effectively protect its clients’ IP rights throughout Turkey before the civil and criminal IP courts, prosecution offices and Customs. The firm also enjoys longstanding relationships with law offices around the world, allowing it to assist clients in handling international disputes in different jurisdictions.

Practice areas

The firm’s trademark practice covers trademark availability searches; trademark filings; trademark maintenance; drafting of assignments or licences; monitoring, drafting and filing oppositions; filing of applications for recognition of a trademark as a well-known mark; and any kind of work at prosecution and litigation level.

One of the firm’s main distinguishing features is its ability to actively provide counselling in all areas of intellectual property. The firm thus handles a wide range of patent proceedings, whether contentious and non-contentious, which involves counselling on licensing; technology transfers, freedom-to-operate issues, data exclusivity; and conducting patent litigation proceedings such as infringement, invalidity, unfair competition and negative clearance actions. The firm is also highly experienced in regulatory matters, especially in the life sciences. The firm’s long-established practice in the field of life sciences regulation enables the team to blend its IP litigation strategy with sectoral knowledge.

The team has also in-depth knowledge of the practice of IP law in other regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, telecommunication, media, tobacco and alcohol. It advises multinational innovator pharmaceutical, medical device, cosmetic and food companies on various matters, including issuance of licensing agreements, pricing, reimbursement regulations, marketing authorisation procedures, clinical trial and observational study projects, compliance and promotion practices. Wide regulatory experience helps the firm to evaluate IP disputes from a wider perspective and resolve disputes by using both IP law and regulatory tools. This also helps the firm provide more cost-effective solutions, as regulatory solutions are often more cost-friendly than IP litigation procedures.


The sub-teams dedicated to specific clients have comprehensive knowledge of their clients’ needs, as they know their clients and their history very well and take their needs and requirements from the past into account when providing a new service. Using technological online data systems also helps the team improve collaboration, provide clarity and achieve better results. The team’s language skills also enable the firm to provide its services in English and French, in addition to Turkish, whenever needed.

Awards and memberships

The firm was named the “Best Trademark Counsel” by the trademark department of a client from the healthcare industry in 2019 after being recognised as an “Agent with Excellence in Client Services” by the same company in 2016. The firm and its individual partners have been ranked among the top-tier IP firms in Turkey in the most reputable rankings of the world such as The Legal 500, MIP, IAM, WTR, and Chambers and Partners.

In particular, the senior IP partner has been listed among MIP’s IP Stars of 2020 and the Top 250 Women in IP in 2020, as was the case in the past few years. In 2020, Who’s Who Legal selected her as a global leader for Life Sciences-Patent Litigation, Product Liability, Regulatory and Patents.

The firm is a member of various international organisations, such as INTA, the European Communities Trademark Association, the Pharmaceutical Trademarks Group, MARQUES, the Chartered Institute of Trademark Attorneys, the Turkish branch of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Union-IP and the Intellectual Property Owners’ Association.

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