The Industrial Property Law Numbered 6769 (the "Industrial Property Law"), which was adopted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on December 22, 2016, was published in the Official Gazette on January 10, 2017 and entered into force as of January 10, 2017.
As a result of the entry into force of the Industrial Property Law, the Decree-Law No. 556 Pertaining to the Protection of Trademarks, the Decree-Law No. 551 Pertaining to the Protection of Patent Rights, the Decree-Law No. 554 Pertaining to the Protection of Industrial Designs and the Decree-Law No. 555 on the Protection of Geographical Indications which were regulating the registration and protection of trademarks, patents, industrial designs and geographical indications before the entry into force of the Industrial Property Law, were abolished.
The aim of the Industrial Property Law is to protect the rights related to trademarks, geographical indications, designs, patents, utility models and traditional product names, and to contribute to the realization of technological, economic and social progress through this process. The Industrial Property Law combines the applications for trademarks, patents, utility models, designs, geographical signs, and traditional product names, registration, post-registration transactions and legal and penal sanctions for violation of these rights and all the rules for trademarks, patents, designs and geographical indications in a single piece of legislation.
The protection provided by the Industrial Property Law shall be available to Turkish citizens, to natural and legal persons domiciled or having industrial or commercial establishments within the territory of the Republic of Turkey, to persons having application rights deriving from the Paris Convention or the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the persons who are nationals of states that accord legal and de facto protection to nationals of the Turkish Republic in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.
The Industrial Property Law changed the name of the Turkish Patent Institute as "Turkish Patent and Trademark Authority" and the short name of the authority was defined as "Turkish Patent".
The Industrial Property Law shortens and simplifies the registration processes for trademarks, patents and designs compared to the previous Decree-Laws.
Parallel to the EU regulation, cancellation of the trademarks by the Turkish Patent shall enter into force seven years after the date of the publication of the Industrial Property Law. Furthermore, trademark applications will not be rejected by the Turkish Patent if a notarized consent letter which indicates the express consent of the previous trademark owner to the registration of the application is submitted. The new legislation also introduces new prison terms and fines for those convicted of marketing counterfeit goods. Prison terms for those who infringe a trademark by producing or selling fake goods or services will vary from one to three years.
Previously, there were two kinds of patent systems in Turkey, namely (i) patent system with examination and (ii) patent system without examination. With the Industrial Property Law patent system without examination shall no longer be applicable.
In terms of protection periods, the Industrial Property Law mainly stipulates the same protection periods stated under the previous Decree-Laws. Within this scope, the protection period of the registered trademark will be 10 years as of the date of application and the term of protection shall be renewable for periods of 10 years. The protection period for patents will be 20 years and the protection period for the utility models will be 10 years from the date of application. The protection periods for patents and utility models shall not be extended. The protection period for registered designs will be 5 years as of the date of application and the term of protection shall be renewable for periods of 5 years and up to a total term of maximum 25 years. Unregistered designs will also have a 3 year protection period as of the date that the design requested for protection is first introduced to the public.
The Turkish Patent has published a draft regulation on the implementation of the new Industrial Property Law on January 4, 2017 for public review however it is not clear when the new regulation will be adopted. Until the new regulation comes into force, the enforcement of provisions of the existing regulations that are not contrary to the Industrial Property Law shall continue being in force.
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