The New Customs Regulation which came into effect in October
2009 provides a new mechanism for intellectual property right
holders, known as 'simplified destruction.' This mechanism
enables owners to take more efficient action in cases of an
infringement during customs proceedings. Until 2009, there was no
legal arrangement for the simplified destruction of goods at
customs. The New Customs Regulation was accepted to harmonise
Turkish customs law with EU legislation. For this reason, the
simplified destruction provisions are highly similar to EU Council
The simplified destruction mechanism enables intellectual
property rights holders to request the destruction of the suspected
infringing or counterfeit products that have been detained or
suspended under control of customs without a court order. Within 10
working days following the suspension of the suspected goods at
customs (three working days if the goods are perishable),
trademark, patent, design, utility model, copyright,
copyright-related rights, integrated circuit topography rights or
plant variety rights holders may contact the customs authority and
request the destruction of the goods within the scope of the
simplified destruction mechanism. The period of 10 working days can
be extended by a further 10 working days in case of an acceptable
When requesting the destruction of the suspended goods in the
scope of the simplified destruction mechanism, intellectual
property rights holders should submit a declaration explaining that
the suspended goods are counterfeit or pirated, how the suspended
goods infringe upon the right, and the true owner's written
consent. The owner of the suspended goods should consent (in
writing) to the destruction of the suspended goods under customs
control. Upon receipt of the simplified destruction request and the
written consent of the suspended goods' owner, the customs
authority decides whether to destroy the suspended goods and
constitutes a 'destruction board.' The destruction is
carried out by a licensed waste facility under the supervision of
the rights holder.
The simplified destruction mechanism is a rapid and
cost-effective method for rights owners, since it does not require
a court order for the destruction. Also, the suspended goods'
owners usually prefer this method rather than incurring warehouse
fees while awaiting a court decision. In fact, this method is
preferred by the customs authorities as well, since upon the
receipt of the true owner's written consent, the decision for
destruction is easily issued.
Turkish customs authorities are experienced and effective in
combating counterfeit/pirated goods because of the country's
growing counterfeit market, which occurred as a result of
Turkey's position between the European Union and Asian/Middle
Eastern countries. Although rights owners can record their rights
at customs, the customs authorities can also ex officio
suspend goods that are suspected of infringing an intellectual or
industrial property right and inform the rights owner. Until the
New Customs Regulation, a rights holder had to start a civil or
criminal action and obtain an injunction order within 10 working
days of receiving notification of the suspended goods.
Although the New Customs Regulation was accepted in 2009, it is
not possible to say that the 'simplified destruction'
method is used effectively yet. Rights owners prefer not to use it,
and due to its rare use, the customs authorities have not gained
experience in implementing the method. For this reason the
simplified destruction process takes more than a month to
implement. We believe that, in due course, rights owners will be
able to use the simplified destruction mechanism more
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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