No registration or proof of use, no problem: how the Turkish IP system supports all legitimate rights holders

Co-published: Registering a trademark grants its owner a number of advantages, but the Turkish Trademark Law does not leave unregistered rights holders defenceless – even when their marks are not in use in Turkey.

No registration or proof of use, no problem: how the Turkish IP system supports all legitimate rights holders
IP Office of Singapore postpones IP Week; 3M files more lawsuits; registrations rise in Turkey – news digest
24 Apr 2020

IP Office of Singapore postpones IP Week; 3M files more lawsuits; registrations rise in Turkey – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Uzbekistan IP Office warning of a rise in fraud, the Korean and Saudi IPOs pledging better cooperation, four ‘.brands’ preparing to exit, and much more.

Most TikTok influencers at risk of brand infringement; urged to consider trademark protection
27 Feb 2020

Most TikTok influencers at risk of brand infringement; urged to consider trademark protection

TikTok has become a global phenomenon over the past 12 months, but research from WTR reveals that the vast majority of the platform's most popular content creators have taken no steps to protect their brand assets.


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16 Mar 2021

Implementation of mandatory mediation in IP disputes: Court of Cassation issues contradictory decisions

In 2019 mediation became mandatory for IP-related monetary claims in Turkey. Although two years have now passed since the introduction of this requirement, discussions on its implementation still continue. Read more

10 Mar 2021

The effect of the covid-19 pandemic on trademark applications

Statistics recently released by TURKPATENT have revealed how trademark filings were affected by the covid-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and how the figures compared to those of the previous year. Read more

3 Mar 2021

Does the use of a trademark on a book cover qualify as infringement?

In a case which highlights the crucial importance of filing trademark infringement and unfair competition claims cumulatively, the Turkish Court of Cassation has considered that the use of a trademark on a book cover was a legitimate use. Read more

18 Jan 2021

Court of Appeals finds likelihood of confusion between short marks in surprising decision

In this somewhat controversial decision, the Turkish Court of Appeals seems to have changed its approach to the role of weak trademarks in the assessment of confusing similarity. Read more


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6 Jul 2020

Can we overcome counterfeiting without tackling the mindset behind it?

Trademark owners have a mountain to climb if they want local judges to grant orders to seize counterfeit goods in Turkey. Things are better at the border, but changes to judicial processes are required. Read more

23 Apr 2020

Procedures and strategies for anti-counterfeiting: Turkey

Turkey is a party to a number of international conventions, including the Paris Convention, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Berne Convention. Read more

17 Mar 2020

Trademark procedures and strategies: Turkey

The processing time from initial filing to registration of national applications is approximately six to eight months in case of no office actions or oppositions. Read more

16 Jan 2020

Turkey tackles online sales of counterfeit goods

According to the Customs Union Report (September 2019), fake and potentially dangerous goods worth nearly €740 million were stopped by various EU customs authorities in 2018. The number of interceptions of fake goods imported into the European Union increased as a result of the large volume of small parcels sent in the post. Read more

Brand management

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23 Sep 2020

Against the odds: the fundamentals of design protection in Turkey

Although registered and unregistered designs enjoy various forms of protection in Turkey, in practice, the hurdles to obtain such rights can be difficult to overcome, meaning manufacturers – especially in the spare parts industry – should consider alternative solutions. Read more

6 Dec 2019

Turkey implements plain packaging, Trump trademark spike, and INTA awareness call: news digest

In our latest edition, we look at the resolution of a trademark dispute between the Ramone family, brand loyalty rising, a vegan butcher taking on Nestlé at the USPTO, and much more. Read more

1 Oct 2019

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Turkey

Several pharmaceutical trademarks exist that have not yet been put to use, mostly as a result of licensing problems, and are therefore vulnerable to non-use defence. Any opposition on the basis of such kinds of trademark can be overcome by non-use defence. Read more

30 Sep 2019

12 counterfeit hotspots in Turkey that rights holders must be aware of

In the next part of our regular series on marketplaces across the world that reportedly engage in the trade of counterfeit goods, we head to Turkey. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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12 Jan 2021

Civil IP Court clamps down on monopoly rights on widely used colours

In a case involving the use of the same colour combination for confectionary products, a Turkish court has held that the use of identical colours or colour combinations is not in itself sufficient to cause unfair competition. Read more

7 Jan 2021

Turkish appeals court finds for applicants by overturning longstanding ex officio refusal practice

A ruling by Turkey’s appeals court removes authority from the Re-examination and Evaluation Board for expanding the scope or the grounds of ex officio refusals issued by the Patent and Trademark Office. Read more

12 Dec 2020

How to protect your most valuable rights: publicity and image

With millions of images shared online every day, striking a balance between the rights of the individual and freedom of expression is a complex task. Thankfully, various regulations can offer protection in the absence of specific publicity and image rights. Read more

28 Jul 2020

Turkish Court of Appeal considers mandatory mediation requirement in disputes containing both monetary and non-monetary claims

Mediation became mandatory for monetary-related commercial disputes from 1 January 2019. However, the practical impact of this change had remained unclear, especially in cases including both monetary and non-monetary claims. The Court of Appeal recently shed some light on this issue. Read more


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28 May 2020

Impact of covid-19 pandemic on grace periods and obligation of use

This update considers the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the grace periods set forth by the Turkish Industrial Property Code, and examines whether the restrictions imposed by the government may constitute a justified reason for non-use of a trademark. Read more

2 Dec 2019

Regulation on Intellectual Property Academy enters into force

The Regulation on the Intellectual Property Academy was published in the Official Gazette on 14 November 2019 and entered into force on the same day. The regulation is significant in that it establishes uniform rules in the fields of copyright and industrial property rights. Read more

26 Nov 2019

Turkey withdraws declaration made under Article 14(5) of Madrid Protocol

Following the withdrawal of its declaration under Article 14(5) of the Madrid Protocol, Turkey can now be the subject of a subsequent designation in respect of international registrations effected before 1 January 1999 - the date on which Turkey joined the Madrid Protocol. Read more

7 Jan 2019

Turkish government introduces restrictions on use of trademarks on tobacco products

The control of tobacco consumption has long been one of the top priorities of the Turkish government. In November 2018 Law No 7151 entered into force, introducing new regulations regarding the packaging of tobacco products. Read more

Law Firms

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23 Apr 2019

Turkey trademark uplift, INPI announces Africa IP adviser, and China counterfeit crackdown: news digest

In our latest edition, we look at INTA and the National Trade Foundation for Education partnering up to spread the anti-counterfeiting message, a study highlights how brands need to showcase their authenticity, and much more. Read more

26 Jan 2018

Pharma brands warned not to be ‘trademark bullies’, Turkey on top, and world’s oldest mark: news round-up

We look at Turkey moving to the top of the European trademark filing league, Activision prevailing in a lawsuit in China, and a warning to pharma brands. Read more

IP Offices

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22 Sep 2020

Legitimacy of Turkish PTO’s registry of well-known trademarks thrown into doubt

Following a decision of the Turkish Court of Appeals earlier this year, the future of the registry of well-known trademarks, which is managed by the Patent and Trademark Office, is hanging in the balance. Read more

17 Oct 2019

Patent and Trademark Office issues new guidelines for examination of trademark applications

Following the entry into force of the Industrial Property Code on 10 January 2017, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office has announced the issuance of long-awaited new guidelines for the examination of trademark applications. Read more

7 Aug 2019

Significant amendments to the Regulation on the Implementation of the Industrial Property Code

Important amendments to the Turkish Regulation on the Implementation of the Industrial Property Code were published in the Official Gazette on 8 July 2019. Read more

21 Feb 2019

“We refer to this case as a hydra”: inside Harvard’s battle to protect its brand in Turkey

Last month a Turkish court ruled in favour of Harvard University in a case centred on the unauthorised licensing of the Harvard name. The legal team behind the case speak to WTR and offer takeaways for trademark professionals. Read more


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11 Nov 2020

A new era for domain names under the ‘.tr’ extension

Turkey will soon have a new system for registering and regulating ‘.tr’ domain names. Among many other changes, the ‘.tr’ Network Information System - or TRABIS - allows domain name sales transactions and it will be possible to use dispute resolution service providers. Read more

7 Dec 2018

Turkey plain packaging, WIPO praises Pakistan IPO and '.amazon' up in the air: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at a tussle over BRENT marks in Singapore, a "worrying trend" of retail fakes in Papua New Guinea, a new UK IP minister, and much more. Read more

1 Jan 2018

Turkey: Search engines yield mixed results on liability

Search engines offer wide-reaching advertising opportunities, but the law is patchy on where liability for use of metatags and keywords falls in a trademark infringement suit. Read more

10 Mar 2015

ALIPAY case highlights efficiency of 'two-way campaign' in domain name disputes

A recent case involving a globally-known Chinese e-commerce company has illustrated the effectiveness of a ‘two-way campaign’ in disputes involving ‘.tr’ domain names: the company opposed the trademark application filed by the owner of the disputed domain name and simultaneously filed a complaint before Nic.tr.

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Portfolio Management

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8 Jun 2020

Good news for owners of IR designations as Trademark Office changes its practice in opposition proceedings

A recent change in practice at the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office puts an end to the difference in treatment between national designations of international registrations and national applications in opposition proceedings. Read more

15 May 2020

Court of Cassation reopens debate on recordation of well-known trademarks

In a decision that challenges longstanding precedents, the Court of Cassation has concluded that the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office has no authority to create and maintain a registry for the recordation of well-known trademarks. Read more

11 May 2020

Court of Appeal: plaintiff lost its right to claim trademark infringement due to silence

In a case involving several MESA marks, the Turkish Court of Appeal has confirmed that the signs and businesses of the parties were similar, but concluded that the plaintiff had lost its right to claim trademark infringement due to its longstanding silence. Read more

29 Apr 2020

Court of Appeal grants protection to relatively weak mark in questionable decision

A recent decision of the Turkish Court of Appeal shows that there is no established approach to weak trademarks. Read more

Trademark law

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9 Dec 2019

Litigation procedures and strategies: Turkey

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12 Aug 2019

Court of Cassation issues long-awaited decision on non-use revocation actions

The Turkish Court of Cassation has considered for the first time the legal gap created by the annulment of Article 14 of Decree-Law No 556, which regulated the use requirement for trademarks. Read more

29 Jan 2019

Litigation procedures and strategies: Turkey

Turkey has no arbitral institutions that specialise in IP disputes. However, it is accepted that, regardless of their nature, trademark disputes that can be settled between the parties may be subject to arbitration. Read more

8 Jan 2019

Protecting and enforcing design rights: Turkey

Designs are protected by the new Industrial Property Law (6769), which entered into force on 10 January 2017. According to the new law, both registered and unregistered design protection is available for new and distinctive designs. Read more

Find an expert

John C Nishi
Trademarks and Copyrights Practice Group Co-Chair
Ann Arbor MI, United States
Dickinson Wright