The Grand National Assembly of Turkey enacted the draft
Commercial Code on January 12, 2011. The New Turkish Commercial
Code (TCC) will enter into force on July 12, 2012, and outlines
possible commercial proceedings and actions in 1,535 articles.
The TCC creates new arrangements regarding commercial
enterprises and equity corporations, and also amends the unfair
competition provisions to protect consumers as well as commercial
establishments. On the other hand, the TCC brings brand new
arrangements for online transactions and the Internet in
In other countries, unregistered trademarks, patents, industrial
designs and trade secrets are protected by unfair competition
provisions. The new unfair competition provisions in the TCC do not
amend the description of unfair competition, but expand its scope.
According to the current Turkish Commercial Code, there must be an
abuse of economic competition for an action to be considered unfair
competition. However, under the new law, an action that constitutes
an abuse in principle will be considered unfair competition without
considering the abuse of economic competition. Also, with the new
law, the description of unfair competition is expanded in a manner
that will not only affect competitors. According to the existing
commercial code, unfair competition provisions are effective for
competitors and protect fair competition. However, in the new law,
in addition to protecting competitors and ensuring fair
competition, the purchasers/consumers are protected in a
<>Adding to the existing code, the new TCC also provides a
more detailed non-restrictive list of examples of acts that
constitute unfair competition. Under the old code, the infringement
of a name, title, sign or trademark right, whether registered or
not, is also defined as a crime of unfair competition. As there are
decree laws that protect registered trademarks and industrial
designs, the new TCC re-arranges the relevant article as
"taking precautions which will prevent confusion with
others' signs, work products or acts." According to the
new TCC, confusion will be determined by considering just the
external appearance and pronunciation of the mark. In other words,
similarity of content (such as similarity of electric circuits)
will not be considered in an unfair competition assessment.
The new TCC does not bring completely new rules for civil and
criminal liability arising from an act that causes unfair
competition. However, according to the principle of legality in
crime and punishment, acts of unfair competition that are not
provided for in the relevant article of the new TTC will not
constitute a crime, but of course can be subject to a civil
The new TCC also obliges companies to launch an official
website. Under the new law, companies will be obliged to share
necessary information (such as official announcements, details of
accounts, statements, and the necessary information within the
scope of an information society and the principle of transparency)
and will be responsible for the accuracy of this information.
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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