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Industrial Design Registration in Turkey: What You Need to Know

by YUCEL YILMAZ, OPTİMUM PATENT OFİSİ DANIŞMANLIK LTD. ŞTİ.

 

Turkey has emerged as a major player in various industries, ranging from automotive and textiles to electronics and furniture. With its strategic location bridging Europe and Asia, the country serves as a hub for innovation and trade, attracting both domestic and international businesses.

 

In this article, we will explore the process and requirements of industrial design registration in Turkey. We will delve into the legal framework, outlining the steps involved in securing protection for your designs.

Contents

1. What can be registered as a design in Turkey?

2. Why can you be refused to register a design in Turkey?

3. The process of design registration in Turkey

4. Documents required for registering a design in Turkey

5. Design opposition process in Turkey

6. Costs of design registration in Turkey

7. Particularity of the registration in Turkey

8. Final thoughts

1. What can be registered as a design in Turkey?

 

A design of a product or a part of a complex product can be registered in Turkey at the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) if it is

  • novel,
  • industrially producible and
  • has a distinctive character compared to other products of the same type.

Novelty

The novelty criteria are:

“(2) A disclosure shall not affect the novelty or individual character of a design for which protection is claimed if it has been made available to the public during the 12-month period preceding the date of filing of the application or, if priority is claimed, the date of priority by the designer, his successor in title, or a third person in consent with the designer or his successor or in abuse of the relationship with the designer or his successor.”

 

We can understand that a design that was disclosed to the public can be registered as an industrial design in Turkey for 12 months starting from the disclosure date.

 

If there is a previous application in a country, the applicant may enjoy priority right up until the sixth month.

Industrial Applicability

A design can only be registered if it is industrially producible. Artworks like paintings, statutes, and cartoons can not be protected as industrial designs. This means that the design must be capable of being mass-produced and not just a one-of-a-kind piece. 

Distinctiveness

The design must be distinctive when compared with another product of the same type. Distinctiveness is a crucial factor in the registration of industrial designs. The design must be unique and easily distinguishable from other products in the same category. 

 

In addition, the appearance features required by the technical function of the product cannot be protected by design registration.

 

design in Turkey

The circular saw blade and computer game card products shown in the picture have appearance features that leave no freedom of choice to the designer and are mandated by the technical function. The teeth around the circular saw blade are designed for better cutting. The notch on the edge of the computer game card is designed to enter the slot of the game console and lock it, the fused part on the front is designed to prevent the person from touching the terminal strip, and the rectangular part in the middle is designed to stick the label. The visual features of both products are purely technical, and there is no element of aesthetic appearance.

 

Further, in assessing the scope of protection, the degree of freedom of choice the designer has in developing the design is taken into account. This means that if the designer had limited options in creating the design, then the scope of protection may also be limited. However, if the designer had a wide range of choices, then the scope of protection may be broader. For example, the circular saw blade in the picture above is accepted as giving a technical advantage to the user, and due to this, it can not be accepted as an industrial design. If it is novel, it can be subject to patent protection.

 

Under the distinctiveness title, we can add some features regarding design registrability. Appearance features of products that have to be produced in certain shapes and sizes in order to mechanically mount or connect the product in which the design is used or applied to another product. This means that even if a design is unique and distinctive, it may not be registered if it is necessary for the product to function properly or connect with other products. However, if the appearance features are purely decorative and do not serve any functional purpose, they may be eligible for design registration. 

 

design in Turkey

A toner cartridge of a printer can not be, or at a very low level can be, registered as an industrial design.

If the design is a piece of a complex product, it is only registrable when the part is attached to the combined product; it is visible in normal use of the combined product. The visible part of the piece must be distinctive. When we say normal use,” it is the daily use of the final consumer, except for maintenance, service, or repair facilities. This means that if the part is not visible during normal use of the combined product, it may not be registrable. Additionally, if the visible part of the piece is not distinctive, it may also not be eligible for registration.

 

Check our article on Trademark registration in Turkey

2. Why can you be refused to register a design in Turkey?

 

There are several reasons why an industrial design can be refused for registration. It might be refused during the examination procedure or during publication for third party oppositions.

Examinational Refusal

According to Article 64 of the IP Law 6769,

 

(6) The Office rejects the design registration requests […] determined not to be new.

 

When we file for a design registration, the Office examines the application regarding its novelty. This examination covers any publicly approachable resources. If the examiner finds a design that is similar to the design which is filed for registration before the filing or priority date, then the design is refused.

Refusal due to third party opposition

A design application might be found novel by the examiner and published for third party opposition. Opposition lasts for three months. After publication, any third party can file an opposition if there is a question about registrability of the design at the third party side. If the office finds the opposition appropriate and justified, they reject the design application.

3. The process of design registration in Turkey

 

The process of design registration in Turkey involves several key steps. To begin the design registration process in Turkey, applicants must prepare a thorough and detailed application. This includes providing a clear representation of the design, such as drawings or photographs, along with a written description. It is crucial to accurately depict the design and clearly explain its distinctive features, as this information will serve as the basis for evaluation and examination.

 

Once the application is prepared, it must be submitted to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO). It is important to ensure that the application meets the formal requirements set forth by the TPTO to avoid any delays or complications in the registration process. 

 

After the application is submitted, the TPTO conducts an examination to assess the design’s novelty and distinctiveness. They will evaluate whether the design meets the legal requirements for registration and does not conflict with existing registered designs. If the design is deemed eligible for registration, it will be published in the Official Design Bulletin, allowing interested parties to review the design and potentially file an opposition within a specified period.

Upon successful completion of the examination and opposition proceedings (if applicable), the design will be officially registered with the TPTO. The registration provides the owner with exclusive rights to use and protect the design in Turkey. It grants legal protection against unauthorized copying or imitation, enabling the design owner to enforce their rights and take legal action against infringement.

4. Documents required for registering a design in Turkey

 

  • Name and address of the applicant/s and (or) the designer/s
  • Declaration regarding how the application right is obtained from the designer (No document is needed unless the Office specifically requests)
  • Assigned power of Attorney. Notarisation or legalization is not needed. (Foreign applicants are obliged to allocate a Turkish Patent or Trademark Attorney to file a design application)
  • View/s of the design/s (300 dpi resolution, 8cm X 8 cm scale. Applicant may prefer to file as 8X16 (two views fee) or 16X8 (two views fee) or 16X16 (four views fee), jpeg file format)
  • If priority is claimed, a sworn translation of the priority document must be presented.
  • Applicants may prefer to present a description for each view of the design. It is not obligatory, as seen in the registration certificate or in the publication. 

5. Design opposition process in Turkey

 

Third parties may file opposition against publication of the design, either to all designs in the application or to some or only one of them. Opposition duration is 3 months starting from the publication date of the relevant design in the official design bulletin.

 

The opposition procedure is the following:

  1. Filing an opposition by a third party.
  2. Formal examination of the opposition documents.
  3. If the opposition is in accordance with the regulation, sending a notification to the applicant (or the representative) to invite them to defend the application against the opposition.
  4. The applicant has one month to prepare a counterclaim against the opposition. It is not an obligation. If the applicant does not present any supporting documents, then the office makes a decision based on the document at hand and its objective opinion.
  5. The opposition is examined by the Reexaminational Board (REB). The REB decision is the Office’s final decision. The applicant or the opponent may appeal the result to a court for cancellation. The opponent may take the case to court for cancellation of the design registration at any time as long as the design registration is alive. The applicant has only two months to take the case to court after the cancellation of the REB decision.
  6. Opposition procedures take 5–6 months on average.

6. Costs of design registration in Turkey

 

The fee estimation depends on the number of designs and the number of views for each design. Color does not affect the cost.

 

Here’s the cost estimation for one design with seven representations:

 

Filing and registration fee$32 
Filing of one additional design $13
Publication fee  $49
Publication of one additional design$49
Attorney fee for registration and publication$539
Attorney fee for one additional design$340

The industrial design registration cost in Turkey via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $400, which includes all government fees and document preparation. Find the best IP attorney in Turkey on iPNOTE.

7. Particularity of the registration in Turkey

 

Turkish design registrations are subject to renewal after a 5-year period. A design registration may be renewed four times until the 25th year. After the 25th year, the design enters the public domain and can be used by anyone without permission or payment. It is important to keep track of renewal deadlines to ensure continued protection of the design. 

 

The renewal period starts at the start of the last six months of the five-year registration period.

 

Example:

A design that was filed on February 1, 2018 can be renewed between August 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023. total fee: 49.00 USD 

If the registration owner missed the last date, it is possible to renew with a fine between February 2, 2023, and August 1, 2023.

 

Design registrations can be filed before Turkish Customs to monitor infringements. This process allows customs officials to seize and prevent the import of goods that infringe on the registered design, providing an effective means of protecting intellectual property rights in Turkey. If a design is registered with Turkish customs, it is taken into account during regular customs inspections. Our office is able to register designs and trademarks for registration before Turkish Customs.

 

Below are some useful links you might need to prepare for registering a design in Turkey:

8. Final thoughts

 

Industrial design registration in Turkey plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of designers and businesses, ensuring that their creative efforts are safeguarded from unauthorized use or imitation. The process involves meticulous application preparation, submission, examination, and potential opposition proceedings, culminating in the official registration and legal protection of the design.

 

***

 

The iPNOTE platform features more than 700 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.

 

Need help with industrial design registration in Turkey? Contact OPTİMUM PATENT OFİSİ DANIŞMANLIK LTD. ŞTİ. now via iPNOTE to learn more and get started.

 

The iPNOTE platform features more than 700 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.

 

Sign up for free, and we’ll help you solve any IP-related problem.

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