Amendment to Trademark Similarity Assessment Guidelines
The Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) does not have official
guidelines on the examination of trademark oppositions. However,
established practice has led to unofficial examination guidelines.
The TPI recently made amendments to the guidelines concerning
trademark similarity examinations.
According to its most recent decisions, the TPI now assesses the
similarity of trademarks in a more flexible manner. In other words,
the TPI now has fewer reasons for finding trademarks similar than
before, and increasingly similar trademarks have a chance of being
registered for the same goods and services. For example, the TPI
previously refused three-letter word and device combination
trademarks, even if the trademarks contain different device
elements or have different characters, based on similarity during
their assessments. However, the present situation is that if the
trademarks have different device elements or are stylized in
different ways, the earlier trademark application can be accepted
by the TPI.
European Commission on IPRs in Turkey
The European Commission held the first IPR dialogue meeting to
be located in Ankara in May. The commission has adopted a Strategy
for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Third
Countries. IPR Dialogue meetings have previously taken place in
China, Russia, Ukraine and Thailand. The Commission has now
launched a working group to discuss the systemic issues that affect
intellectual property rights protection and possible resolutions
with Turkish authorities.
The Turkish group consists of officers from the Ministry of
Culture and Tourism, the TPI, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry
of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Secretariat
General for EU Affairs, the Undersecretariat of Customs, the
Ministry of Agriculture and the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade,
according to the European Commission.
Information exchange, unitary patents, anti-counterfeiting acts
(ex officio action possibilities, terms of penalties), bad
faith registrations of trademarks, inconsistent court decisions and
physical/individual piracy are the topics on the working
Police raid the Istanbul Grand Bazaar
The Istanbul Grand Bazaar is known as both a historical
attraction and a home to shops that sell fake designer goods such
as handbags, shoes, and clothing. Trademark owners find it
difficult to defeat counterfeiters of the Istanbul Grand Bazaar
because they are well-organized and employ hidden tunnels and
cameras to make sure that they are well prepared for possible
seizures. The Istanbul Police Department has started outfitting its
officers and shop owners from the Istanbul Grand Bazaar with
recording equipment as a means of improving the success of its
seizures. This operation has led the police department to discover
a criminal network operating with support from public servants.
On April 24, 2011, the police conducted simultaneous surprise
raids of 137 stores in the Istanbul Grand Bazaar. As April 24 was
not a working day for most people in Turkey, the counterfeiters
were not anticipating a seizure. April 24 was also an Easter
holiday, so the counterfeiters were expecting to have more
customers (especially tourists) than they would have had on a
normal day. Consequently, the counterfeiters had lots of stock. As
a result of these raids, around 90 shop owners and public servants
were detained and thousands of counterfeit products were seized.
€2.5 million ($3,601,424.70) was also seized. Those
detained will be charged with trademark infringement and
establishing and operating a crime network.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
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