What happens if someone infringes on my trademark during the registration process? When does the protection start for my trademark?
You should consult a lawyer in the event of infringement of a trademark in Turkey. The protection starts at the time of application. The application is even registered with the Turkish Patent Institute by the hour and minute you make the application. You may start to enjoy the use of your trademark and start legal action in order to protect it.
What documents are necessary for registering a trademark?
It depends on who applies. Either real persons or legal entities can apply to register a trademark in Turkey. Different documents will be necessary for application depending on whether it is a legal entity applying for the registration or a real person. If it is a real person applying, then documents of identification such as a translated and officially approved copy of a passport will be satisfactory. If it is a legal entity applying, a certificate of activity showing that the company is duly incorporated and actively operating is required. A detailed description and visual models of the trademark should also be submitted to the institute.
If you are using a professional to register your trademark on your behalf, you must submit a power of attorney. Finally the forms and the petitions for registration should be duly signed and submitted to the Turkish Patent Institute.
As a basic rule, you can register your own trademark. You can also apply yourself, but it is very time consuming; your agent, however, can follow up to see if there are new registrations similar to yours, allowing you to take action if necessary. So it is much better to use a registration office for trademark registrations in Turkey. Only registered and certified patent and trademark attorneys can act on your behalf before the Turkish Patent Institute.
How to make a power of attorney for the registration office in Turkey?
Once you contact a registration office you will be told how to do this, but in brief 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 should do this 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 for power of attorney.
If you will be providing this power of attorney from abroad, there are two options; you can either make it through a Turkish consulate, or do it through your country's notary system. In the latter case, please make sure that this power of attorney is affixed with an apostille in accordance with the Hague convention governing the approval of legal documents. The apostille shall be made by competent local authorities, and this local authority is different for each country. Please consult a legal professional or the interior ministry in your country to find out which authority provides the apostille.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions regarding trademark problems you may face in Turkey either in terms of infringement, or how to cancel a trademark registration in Turkey.
NOTE: Berk Çektir is a Turkish lawyer and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business 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.