BERK – Intellectual property rights in Turkey

Intellectual property rights in Turkey Intangible assets are becoming more important than tangible assets for many companies. Intellectual property rights are the most important cause of disputes between high-tech companies, as well as in many other industries.

Intellectual property rights have been protected under the general rules of Turkish law for a long time, and special regulations came into force during the 1990s. Today, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights are protected in particular under Turkish law.

I would like to give some brief information about trademark registration and protection in Turkey. How do you register your trademark in Turkey? The Turkish Patent Institute registers trademarks, patents, license agreements and such rights upon application.

The application is made in writing through the standard documentation of the Turkish Patent Institute. The application process can be completed in one appointment if all the documents are ready for the Turkish Patent Institute.

The registration process will be completed one year after the application is made. So, what documents are necessary to apply for the registration of a trademark? It depends.

Either real persons or legal entities can apply to register a trademark in Turkey. Different documents will be necessary for the application, depending on whether it is a legal entity or a real person applying for registration.

If it is a real person applying for registration, identification documents are required (an officially approved copy and translation of a passport will be satisfactory). If it is a legal entity, then a certificate of activity showing that the company is duly incorporated and actively operating is needed.

A detailed description and visual examples of the trademark should be submitted. Power of Attorney is needed only if you are using a professional for the 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, in real life, professionals can do it for you with greater speed and safety. Only registered and certified patent and trademark attorneys can act on your behalf with 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 grant a Power of Attorney in Turkey, you can conduct this process with 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 in matters of intellectual property rights and the registration of your trademark.

The authorities may want to see this specific wording in the text for the Power of Attorney. If you will be providing this Power of Attorney from outside of Turkey, please make sure that the Power of Attorney is duly apostilled in accordance with the Hague convention governing the approval of legal documents.

The apostille should be made by competent local authorities, and this local authority is different for each country. Please consult a legal professional in your country to find out which authority provides this apostille.

There are different classes for goods and services. You should clearly state the service or goods for which you want to register your trademark.

The Turkish Patent Institute will automatically check whether an earlier registration has been made with the same or a similar trademark. The trademark is subject to challenge during the registration process.

Obviously, it is always possible to start a lawsuit and pursue the cancellation of a trademark that conflicts with your own. What if someone has registered your trademark in his name before you apply to the Turkish Patent Institute for registration? You should apply to the competent courts in order to cancel the registration of the other party.

The competent court for such a case is the Intellectual Property Rights Court. This court only sees cases related to intellectual property rights, and the judges have established expertise in the field.

What happens if someone infringes on my trademark during the registration process? When does the protection of my trademark start? The protection starts right when the application is registered with the Turkish Patent Institute. You can enjoy your trademark and start legal action in order to protect it.

There isn’t enough space to write more, but I will give a list of necessary documents, along with responses to other FAQ, tomorrow. NOTE: Berk ektir is a Turkish lawyer who is available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business in Turkey.

Please kindly send inquiries to bcektir@todayszaman.com If a sender’s letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise is expressly stated by the sender DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information.

You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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