Turkey: The Role And Benefits Of Injunctions In Turkish Trademark Law

Last Updated: 23 May 2014
Article by Işık Özdoğan, LL.M. and Yonca Çelebi

The Role and Benefits of Injunctions in Turkish Trademark Law

Injunctions play a significant role in Turkish intellectual property law, particularly for protecting trademark rights. Injunctions are effective tools during cancellation, invalidation and infringement actions to preserve the final result which the plaintiff seeks to achieve.

A plaintiff's claim can be irreparably damaged before and during a trial, meaning that even if the plaintiff is ultimately successful, the remedy they are awarded is no longer effective. For example, the counterparty could transfer a disputed trademark to a third party, continue to produce and sell infringing products, or even initiate an infringement action against the legitimate right owner as a counter-attack.

To avoid such possibilities, plaintiffs can request the court grant a temporary injunction to preserve the status of the possible final trial outcome.

The theory and practice of injunctions under Turkish trademark law

The legal framework and criteria for injunctions in Turkey are outlined by the Code of Civil Procedure, as well as Decree Law Number 556 Pertaining To Protection Of Trademarks.

Injunctions can be obtained either before or during a trail. To obtain an injunction the requesting party must prove to the court's satisfaction that either:

  • Irreparable harm will arise if the injunction is not granted, or
  • The outcome which the requesting party seeks in its main action will be unlikely unless the injunction is granted.

Under Turkish law, the requested injunction must seek to protect the potential outcome of the main action, but must not actually achieve this outcome itself. That is, the requesting party may not use the injunction mechanism to achieve the ultimate outcome which they are pursuing through their main legal action. If a requested injunction fails to meet this criteria, the court may reject the request, or alternatively postpone the request until later in the trial (if the request is filed during a trial).

If a requesting party files an injunction request before a trial has been initiated, the requesting party must file its main action within two weeks of that date. If the requesting party (plaintiff) does not file the main action by this deadline, the injunction will lapse and become invalid.

Generally, before granting an injunction, the court must give the counterparty an opportunity to be heard and defend their position. However, courts can depart from this general rule where doing so would undermine the point of the injunction request. In such cases, courts have the discretion to issue injunctive decisions without notifying the counterparty of the request, or hearing the counterparty's arguments. For example, where the requesting party's rights require immediate protection, or notifying the counterparty would cause irreparable damage to the main action, or unnecessarily prolong the proceedings. The onus is on the requesting party to prove in their initial injunction request that such a condition exists and specifically request that the counterparty not be notified of the injunction request.

If an injunction is issued without the counterparty being notified and given the opportunity to be heard, the counterparty will be entitled to appeal the decision within seven days of being notified of the injunction decision. Injunction decisions which the court issues in the presence of both parties cannot be appealed.

When a court grants a preliminary injunction, generally:

  • The requesting party will be required to deposit a significant monetary guarantee with the court to cover possible damages to the counterparty which could arise as a result of the injunction.
  • Courts will require the counterparty to deposit a guarantee with the court, rather than suspending their trade or production of the allegedly infringing goods. The basis for this is that suspending trade and production of the goods could cause significant and disproportional costs, as well as irreparably damaging the counterparty's business and reputation.
  • The requesting party will be held responsible for damages which are caused due to an illegitimate or wrongful injunction decision. If such circumstances exist, the damaged party has the right to initiate a separate civil claim seeking compensation from the party which wrongfully obtained the injunction.

Commonly requested injunctions in trademark disputes

Turkish courts are generally reluctant to grant preliminary injunctions and this same reluctance extends to injunctions sought in the context of intellectual property disputes. Exceptions to this are injunctions which prevent the counterparty from transferring the disputed trademark to a third party until after the final judgment is issued.

Below are some of the possible injunctive requests available in the context of intellectual property disputes.

  • Preventing a counterparty from transferring a disputed trademark to a third party until the final judgment is issued

    According to general practice, cancellation, invalidation, or infringement actions must be initiated against the party shown in the Turkish Patent Institute's (TPI) registry (Decree Law Number 556 Pertaining To Protection Of Trademarks). After becoming aware of a possible cancellation or invalidation action being initiated against them, the counterparty may transfer the disputed mark to a third party with the aim of avoiding the action. To create further delays, the counterparty may even arrange for that third party to transfer the disputed mark on to other third parties, possibly even multiple times. Transferring a trademark in this way will inevitably suspend pending legal actions and unnecessarily prolong trials. Given that a simple intellectual property trial in Turkey takes up to three years to reach a final conclusion, additional delays are understandably unacceptable for parties, as well as unnecessary adding to the courts' workload.

    To avoid these consequences, prior to initiating the main action, a party can file an injunction request which seeks to prevent the counterparty from transferring the disputed mark to a third party until the final judgment is issued. Generally, courts issue these types of preliminary injunction requests without a hearing and without notifying the counterparty.
  • Preventing a counterparty from using the disputed trademark until the final judgment is issued

    Generally during invalidation, cancellation or infringement actions, the counterparty will continue to use the disputed mark for commercial purposes. Such practice means the counterparty continues taking advantage of its unfair use, potentially damaging the reputation and distinctiveness of the plaintiff's trademarks in the process.

    To avoid this, the plaintiff can file a preliminary injunction request seeking to prevent the counterparty from using the disputed mark. Courts have the discretion to issue such injunctions on a case by case basis and the discretion is most commonly exercised where the counterparty fraudulently uses the trademark. Generally, such decisions are issued only after a hearing and after the plaintiff deposits a large monetary guarantee to cover possible damages to the counterparty which could arise as a result of the injunction.

    Turkish law prohibits parties from achieving their ultimate aim in the main legal action through the preliminary injunction mechanism. The exclusive aim of an injunction must be to preserve the status of the final judgment. In principle, preventing the counterparty from using the disputed mark could be considered to be the primary goal being sought by the final judgement. Therefore, with the limited fraudulent use exception above, these types of injunction requests are not generally accepted by Turkish courts.
  • Preventing a counterparty using its rights which arise from the disputed trademark against the plaintiff and its affiliates until the final judgment is issued

    These types of injunctions are the most important, but also the most rarely granted. A considerable number of foreign companies use their trademarks in Turkey via their distributors, or independent retailers. It is common for foreign companies to wrongly interpret registrations with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market as being valid in Turkey, or fail to protect their trademarks by having them registered before the TPI.

    It is common in Turkey for third parties to take advantage of such oversights and obtain trademark registrations before the legitimate right holder can do so. Holding a valid registration (even inappropriately) gives the right to initiate an infringement action against other parties which do not hold such a registration (even if this party is the legitimate right holder).

    Legitimate right holders often become aware of earlier registrations when they attempt to register the mark with the TPI themselves. Or alternatively, when they receive threats from the third party about possible infringement actions (on the basis of the inappropriately registered right). It is not uncommon for third parties (which hold an earlier TPI registration) to approach the legitimate right holder, offering to transfer the trademark registration in return for money. Third parties often threaten to initiate an infringement action against the legitimate right holder, as well as the right holder's distributors or retailers which import and sell the products.

    Even if the legitimate right holder foresees this as a possible risk and initiates an invalidation action against the earlier registration holder, the earlier party is entitled to initiate a counter action for infringement. To prevent this situation occurring, the legitimate right holder can request an injunction to prevent the earlier registration holder from exercising its rights which arise from that registration (such as the right to initiate an infringement action).

    Turkish courts are more likely to grant these types of injunction if the requesting party has a high likelihood of success at trial. A hearing must be held prior to the court's decision. While the counterparty is not required to attend the hearing, in the interests of natural justice, it is important to give this party the opportunity to be heard and defend the requested injunction. The requesting party will be required to deposit a large monetary guarantee with the court, to cover possible damages to the counterparty which could arise as a result of the injunction.
  • Suspending the sale and production of allegedly infringing products

    During an infringement action, counterparties will generally continue to produce and sell the allegedly infringing products, thereby continuing to take advantage of their wrongful use. While plaintiffs generally seek immediate relief during infringement actions, civil law proceedings in Turkey do not move as quickly as criminal actions. Therefore, a plaintiff may wish to make such an injunction request in a civil claim in order to achieve a similar effect to the remedies available in a criminal claim. Courts have the discretion to grant injunctions which prevent counterparties from producing or selling the allegedly infringing products until the after the final judgment is issued. Suspending sale and production in this way is an extraordinary measure which the court will not agree to unless strong grounds exist. In practice, such solid and convincing grounds are less likely to exist in a cancellation or invalidation action.

    In addition to the general requirements for seeking a preliminary injunction, the requesting party must also convince the court that it has a high likelihood of success at trial. A hearing must be held prior to the court's decision as it is important to give the counterparty the opportunity to be heard and defend the requested injunction. The requesting party will be required to deposit a large monetary guarantee with the court, to cover possible damages to the counterparty which could arise as a result of the injunction.
  • Monetary guarantee deposited with the court to cover the plaintiff's claims (if successful)

    Courts generally require the injunction requesting party to deposit a large monetary guarantee with the court as an assurance against possible damages which may arise to the counterparty as a result of the injunction.On the other hand, the injunction requesting party may also request the counterparty deposit a monetary guarantee with the court as part of the injunction request. The reason for this is to ensure that if the requesting party is successful at trial, their claims will be met. These types of injunction request are rarely granted though, with courts preferring not to make any early decision in these complicated cases.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Işık Özdoğan, LL.M.
Yonca Çelebi
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.