By: Yucel Yılmaz, OPTİMUM PATENT OFİSİ DANIŞMANLIK LTD. ŞTİ., Turkey
Why do you need to register trademark in Turkey? With a population of over 85 million people, Turkey is a rapidly growing market with vast opportunities for businesses. The country’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it an ideal hub for international trade and commerce. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in foreign investors and entrepreneurs entering the Turkish market.
Many companies opt for trademark registration in Turkey to protect their brand and secure their commercial interests. This article will explore the entire trademark registration process, including the requirements, documents, and fees.
1. What can be registered as a trademark in Turkey?
In Turkey, trademarks must be unique and distinguishable from those of other companies and must not violate public order or morality.
The following items can be registered as trademarks in Turkey:
- words and slogans,
- graphics and illustrations,
- product or packaging shapes,
You must correctly classify the goods and services associated with the trademark to register it successfully. This classification is based on the International Classification of Goods and Services, ensuring uniformity in trademark registration worldwide.
You can also file a multi-class trademark application to register multiple classes of goods and services under a single trademark. You will be charged an extra fee for each additional class.
2. Why can you be refused to register a trademark in Turkey?
In Turkey, trademark registration may be denied for either absolute or relative reasons. Absolute reasons stem from objective criteria, while relative grounds examine the possibility of confusion with an existing trademark or a right holder. Absolute refusal reasons are directly taken into account by TürkPatent during the trademark examination stage. On the other hand, in order for a trademark to be refused based on relative refusal grounds, an objection by third parties who may be harmed is required. So, before applying, it’s worth searching for the trademark in the Turkey trademark database.
Absolute reasons for a trademark refusal can be the following:
- Trademarks that lack uniqueness or distinctiveness;
- Marks that are only used to identify the type, quality, characteristics, quantity, purpose, value, location or time of production of goods or services or other characteristics;
- Marks that are commonly used in commerce or are used to distinguish a particular group of professionals or businesses;
- Marks that are only based on the appearance of the goods or their essential features;
- Marks that mislead the public about the nature, quality, or location of goods or services;
- Marks containing cultural or historical values, symbols, or emblems that do not have the consent of the relevant authority;
- Religious symbols;
- Marks that go against public order or morality;
- Marks that include or are based on a registered geographical mark;
- Marks that use the name, trade name, photo, or intellectual property of another person.
Relative reasons for refusal of registering a trademark include:
- Similarity to an already registered or applied for trademark for similar goods/services or goods/services that may cause a possibility of likelihood of confusion ;
- Similarity to a well-known trademark if it consists of a person’s name, trade name, photography, copyright or any other intellectual property right of another;
- Similarity to a recently expired collective/guarantee trademark;
- Application filed in bad faith;
- An application for registration of a trademark identical to or similar to a registered trademark with identical or similar goods or services, that is filed within two years following the expiration of the protection of the registered trademark due to non-renewal shall be refused upon opposition of previous trademark proprietor provided that the trademark has been used during this period.
3. The process of trademark registration in Turkey
The registration of a trademark in Turkey includes trademark search, application, examination, publication, opposition, and issuance of the certificate.
Before filing a trademark application, conducting a comprehensive Turkey trademark search is recommended to assess the desired trademark’s availability. This step helps to avoid potential conflicts or objections during the registration process and minimize the risk of the application being rejected.
Next, you must file an application with the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO). The application must include the desired trademark and a description of the goods and services it covers, according to the International Classification of Goods and Services. Make sure the application is complete and accurate, as any errors or omissions can result in delays or rejection of the application.
Once the application is filed, it undergoes examination by the TPTO to ensure that it meets the legal requirements and does not conflict with existing trademarks. The Office may request additional information or clarification from the applicant or raise objections if there are any issues with the application.
If the TPTO accepts the trademark, it will be published in the Official Trademark Bulletin. This allows other parties to file an opposition to the registration if they believe that the trademark conflicts with their trademark rights. The opposition period lasts for two months from the date of publication. If an opposition is filed, it must be resolved through a formal hearing before the Patent and Trademark Office in Turkey.
If no one files an opposition, or if the applicant wins, the trademark will be registered, and the applicant will get a certificate of registration. The certificate serves as proof of ownership of the trademark and provides legal protection for the trademark owner.
The Turkey trademark registration is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely, provided the trademark remains in use and the renewal fee is paid.
4. Documents required for the registration of a trademark in Turkey
The necessary documents for trademark registration in Turkey vary depending on the applicant type and the trademark application’s specifics. However, typically, the following documents are required:
- A completed trademark application form, which should include a description of the trademark and the goods or services you will use;
- Payment of the required fees, including the application fee and any additional fees for multiple classes;
- Copy of the priority document (if applicable).
All documents should be in Turkish. A simply signed power of attorney is required. You must submit a certified copy of the priority document and its sworn translation into Turkish within 3 months of the submission. Convention priority is 6 months.
5. Trademark opposition process in Turkey
The opposition process in Turkey is a way for third parties to challenge the registration of a trademark that they believe conflicts with their trademark or other rights.
The opposition period lasts for two months from the publication date. During this period, third parties can file an opposition with the TPTO. For example, they might claim that the trademark conflicts with their rights or does not meet the legal requirements.
The TPTO will review the opposition and, if necessary, request additional information or evidence from the parties involved. After considering all the relevant information, the TPTO will decide whether the trademark can be registered.
TPTO may refuse the opposition or refuse the application due to the opposition. Applicant or the opposer may apply to the re-examination and evaluation board (REEB), which is a higher unit, and request that the decision of TPTO to be changed in their favor. REEB decisions may be taken to a court for a cancellation lawsuit.
It is important to note that the opposition process can be complex and time-consuming, and it is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified trademark attorney or agent to protect your rights.
6. Costs of trademark registration in Turkey
Government fees of trademark registration in Turkey:
|Appeal against refusal
The cost of trademark registration in Turkey via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $690, which covers all official fees as well as document preparation. Search for the best Turkish trademark attorney on iPNOTE.
7. Final thoughts
Trademark registration in Turkey is a valuable investment for businesses and individuals looking to protect their brand and intellectual property. By registering a trademark, you can secure your rights to use your brand name and logo and prevent others from using similar marks that could confuse consumers.
It is also possible to register a trademark before Turkish Customs after registering it at TPTO. By registering your trademark before Turkish Customs it is very possible to prevent infringing goods at the custom to enter Turkish market.
Have questions about trademark registration in Turkey? Contact OPTİMUM PATENT OFİSİ DANIŞMANLIK LTD. ŞTİ. via iPNOTE.
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