Basically, intellectual property rights have been protected under the general rules of Turkish law since the beginning of the Turkish Republic. However, special regulations came into force during the last decade, and now trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights are protected in particular.
I will give a brief explanation of intellectual property rights-related matters. Since “intellectual property rights” is a very broad subject to write on, I will focus on trademarks, and should you have any questions please do not hesitate to write to me.
Looking to register a trademark in Turkey?
The Turkish Patent Institute registers trademarks, patents, license agreements and such rights upon application. The application is made in writing via uniform documentation of the Turkish Patent Institute.
How long does it take to apply and how long does it take to register a trademark?
The application process takes no more than one day if all documents are ready for submission to the Turkish Patent Institute.
The registration process is completed in one year after the application is made.
There are different classifications for goods and services. You should clearly state the service or goods in which you want to register your trademark.
The Turkish Patent Institute checks if an earlier registration has been made with the same or similar trademark.
What should I do if someone has registered my trademark in his name before I applied to the Turkish Patent Institute for registration?
You should apply to the relevant court in order to cancel the registration of the other party. The relevant court in such cancellation cases is the Intellectual Property Rights Court. These courts only hear cases related to intellectual property rights, and its judges are very experienced in the field.
What happens if someone infringes my trademark during the registration process? When does the protection start for my trademark?
The protection starts when the application is lodged with the Turkish Patent Institute. You may start to enjoy your trademark and start legal action in order to protect it.
What documents are necessary for registering a trademark application?
It depends. Either real persons or legal entities can apply to register a trademark in Turkey.
Different documents will be necessary for an application if it is a legal entity applying for registration or if it is a real person applying for registration.
If it is a real person applying for registration, in terms of documents of identification, an officially approved copy and translation of a passport will be satisfactory. If it is a legal entity then a certificate of activity will be required showing that the company is duly incorporated and actively operating.
A detailed description and visual models of the trademark should be submitted to the institute.
Power of attorney will only be required if you are using a professional for registration of your trademark.
Finally, the forms and petitions for registration should be duly signed and submitted to the Turkish Patent Institute.
As a basic rule, you can register your own trademark; however, professionals can do it for you much more quickly and safely.
Only registered and certified patent and trademark attorneys can act on your behalf before the Turkish Patent Institute. You should provide a power of attorney in order to appoint a professional to act on your behalf. The power of attorney can be made in two ways for a foreigner in Turkey or abroad:
If you want to provide a power of attorney in Turkey, you may conduct this process before a notary public. Please make sure that your intention in giving this power of attorney is to appoint a professional to act on your behalf regarding the matters of intellectual property rights and registration of your trademark. The authorities may want to see this specific wording in the text of the power of attorney.
If you will be providing this power of attorney outside Turkey, please make sure this power of attorney is duly apostilled (or legalized) in accordance with the Hague convention governing the approval of legal documents. The apostil must be made by competent local authorities, and this local authority is different for each country. Please consult a legal professional in your country or home office to find out which authority provides the apostil.
NOTE: Berk Çektir is a licensed attorney at law and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living in Turkey. Please kindly send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. If a sender’s letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise expressly stated by the sender.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information. You should seek legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.