Ata Patent is a globally recognized IP law firm with a long record of excellence and professional leadership in Istanbul, Turkey. Ata Patent has assembled an experienced group of trademark attorneys to help clients obtain, protect and enforce intellectual property rights. Our team has prepared trademark FAQs in Turkey and answers below.
Ata Patent Turkish trademark attorneys have been providing advocacy and legal consultancy services regarding trademark application and registration and trademark cancellation, invalidity, and compensation cases with the experience and knowledge they have gained since 1996.
Our trademark services are; search, application, registration, assignment, renewals, refusals, and protection such as IP litigation, appeal, opposition, cancellation, infringement, monitoring, and IP licensing.
Trademark FAQs in Turkey
Turkish Trademarks FAQs. Trademark registrations are now more important than ever given that trademark registration rights are required to remove infringements on social media, online retail sites, and domains, and scam sites. We understand how new technologies affect brand strategies, including social media, contextual advertising, and affiliate network advertising. Trademark FAQs in Turkey are answered below.
What is Trademark?
Trademarks are the signs of the goods and services provided by any enterprise to make them distinct from those provided by other enterprises. Words, letters, numbers, drawings, pictures, figures, colors, logos, labels, and a combination of these used specifically for the purpose of distinction of such goods and services may be accepted as trademarks.
Is Registration of a Trademark Required?
Although registration of a trademark is not required, registration is the most significant means of evidence on the trademark and of the hindrance of the trademark violations. Therefore, registration of trademarks in countries where commercial activities are established is highly recommended.
How to Protect Trademarks?
The trademarks are protected mainly through registration. Registration of a trademark makes available sound protection against particular disputes arising from similarity or identical aspects, which may lead to confusion.
Many people consider that registration of the commercial title and the commercial company into the trade registration offices means simultaneous protection of the trademark. This is the most common misconception. It is important to comprehend the differences between commercial titles and trademarks.
What Kind of Rights does Trademark Registration Provide?
Registration of a trademark shall grant the holder of the said trademark the right of sole use of the trademark and protect unauthorized use of the such trademark.
It grants the right of unauthorized use of any mark which may distort the distinctive character of any registered trademark, provide an unfair advantage through the credibility of any registered trademark, or lead to any confusion with respect to the similar or identical goods and services that fall within the scope of the trademark registration.
Any registered trademark may be assigned to another, inherited to the successors, licensed for utilization rights, pledged or denominated as a guarantee.
The trademarks not yet registered cannot enjoy the rights and protection through the law pertinent to the registration and protection of trademarks.
Absolute Reasons to Reject a Trademark Application
It is important to take into account the reasons, which may obstruct the registration of a trademark. The filed applications for registration of a trademark shall be rejected in the following cases, which are named “Absolute Reasons”.
- The signs with no distinctive features,
- The signs similar or identical with the previously registered or already filed trademark falling in the similar or identical scope of the goods or services,
- The signs indicate type, sort, feature, quality, objective, value, and geographical sources for the goods or services for which registration is sought.
- The signs which allow differentiation of any occupation and members of the artistic or commercial groups or used commonly by any commercial community along with the trademarks which include the names exclusively or principally,
- The signs figuratively indicate the good or its essential value which is stemming from the natural structure or as a result of the technical processes of the product to be registered,
- The marks mislead the public in view of the quality, quantity or place of production, and geographical source of the goods or services.
- Country flags, military or dynasty armorial bearings submitted to WIPO International Bureau, seals and emblems of the countries and the international organizations,
- Words and signs representing religious values and symbols,
- Signs and words detrimental to public order and general ethical rules,
can not be registered as a trademark.
How to Do Similarity Search Prior to Filing a Trademark Application?
The trademark for which an application for registration is to be made may be searched at the earlier stage whether it is previously registered in another person’s name or any application made, therefore. The pre-search may be conducted by the Turkish Patent & Trademark Office in return for a fee and it can also be made through the website of the Turkish Patent & Trademark Office free of charge.
How Long a Trademark Registration is Valid?
Any registered trademark shall be protected for a period of 10 years starting from the date of filing the application. It is also possible to protect the trademark for a limitless time by renewing the same in each 10-year period.
The request for renewal should be made within 6 months prior to the expiration of the protection period. Referring to the trademarks for which no request for renewal is made within the stipulated period, such a request may be made within 6 months subsequent to the expiration of the 10-year period provided that an additional fee is to be paid.
Trademark FAQs & Answers in Turkey
How do Trademark Rights Expire?
The rights on any registered trademark arising from registration shall expire in the following cases:
- No renewal request after a 10-year protection period,
- The trademark holder waives trademark rights,
- Nullity of the trademark by the courts.
Requirements for Utilization of a Trademark
If a trademark is not used for a period of 5 years uninterruptedly, then it shall be the reason for cancellation. Consequently, in trademark applications for registration, only the intended production or presentation of the goods and services should be specified. Registration of a trademark, which includes goods and services that are not to be used shall unnecessarily increase the registration costs and lead to the cancellation of the trademark.
Nullity of a Trademark
The trademarks which are not used for a period of 5 years from the date of registration,
- The trademarks which have become generic names,
- The trademarks with misleading nature due to their utilization,
- The trademarks registered in spite of obstruction for registration,
Maybe nullified by the decision of an IP Court.
International Registration of the Trademarks
As in the case of all industrial property rights, registration and protection of the trademarks are national rights. So, any registered trademarks may enjoy the rights arising from registration only within the boundaries of the country where it is registered. Therefore, in order to benefit from the rights arising from registration, the trademarks should be separately registered in all of the countries of activity.
Since Turkey is a party to the Madrid Protocol for the international registration of trademarks starting from January 01, 1999, Turkish citizens, those residing in Turkey, and those dealing with commercial or industrial activities in Turkey may apply for European Community Trademark (CTM) in 66 countries who are parties to the Madrid Protocol via Turkish Patent and Trademark Office.
The application for registration to be made within the scope of the Madrid Protocol shall be evaluated separately by each country and the decision for or against registration shall be made in accordance with the legislation of the relevant country. Consequently, while some applications are concluded with registration in several countries, they may be rejected in others.
In order to apply for registration within the scope of the Madrid Protocol, there should be a trademark already registered or filed in Turkey and the international application for registration should comply with the said trademark. The international application depends on the national trademark for a period of 5 years and rejection, cancellation, or nullification of the national trademark leads to the cancellation of the international registration.
What are the Advantages of the Madrid System?
The major advantage of the Madrid System is the filing of an application by the trademark owner and registration of the trademark through a single application in all of the countries included in the system in one language, fee, and expiration date. Then, the international registration procedures proceed and are renewed through a single process.
What is Community Trademark?
The Community Trademark is a trademark system, which is commonly used in all of the countries that are members of the European Community. The Trademarks and Designs Office of the Community (OHIM) executed the examination and registration procedures.
The applications for Community Trademarks can be made directly to the Community’s Trademarks and Designs Office, the Trademark-Patent Offices in the member countries, or the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office within the frame of the Madrid Protocol. The registered Community Trademark provides equal rights, which are valid in all member countries to the holder of the trademark.
Violations of the Trademarks Rights
The registration of any trademark does not provide any additional protection but solely functions as the determination and registration of a right. So, in case of unfair utilization of the trademark by others and violations of the trademarks, the holder of the trademark should monitor such unfair utilization and prevent the violations based on the rights stemming from the registered trademark through the judicial procedures at the competent courts.
Penalties for Trademark Violations
Depending on the nature of the offense, imprisonment for a period of 1 to 4 years, a fine, closure of the business place not less than 1 year, and prohibition from commercial activities are the applicable penalties.
What is Turquality?
Our quality, which certifies systematic quality management in all processes from the product designing phase to marketing on the shelves and targeting to establish an upper identification as a guarantor, has been drawn up in the form of a support program, which contributes monetarily and managerial on the value-added products of Turkey in order to differentiate such products from the other locally and internationally competitive products.
The Turquality project, which is aimed at supporting the quality image of the Turkish trademarks which attained certain standards in the international markets and increasing the reputability of such products is rooted in the Undersecretariat of the Foreign Trade, Turkish Exporters Assembly, and the Union of Istanbul Textile and Ready-Made Garment Exporters.
Reach us for Trademark FAQs in Turkey and Answers
Since its foundation in 1996, Ata Patent has been the choice of numerous clients throughout the World. At Ata Patent, we partner with our clients to grow their businesses by protecting their intellectual property with strategic planning, customized and scalable solutions, and cost-effective project management.
We prosecute and maintain patents and trademarks across various industries and in multiple countries, and litigate in IP courts and before TPTO.