Turkey's Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Board
("Board") has introduced an associability check,
comparing registered names, trademarks, emblems, or logos for
tobacco companies, against companies in other sectors. The Board
will gradually complete associability checks, evaluating certain
criteria. The check has retrospective effect and will be made based
primarily on the Turkish Patent Institute's trademark database
and Ministry of Customs and Trade's trade registry
The Board's decision number 10936 ("Amendment
Decision") was published in Official Gazette number 29689 on
19 April 2016, entering into effect on the same date. The Amendment
Decision updates an earlier Board decision about tobacco-related
intellectual property matters (Decision number 7055, dated 12
Significant changes under the Amendment Decision include:
An associability check is introduced, comparing registered
names, trademarks, emblems, or logos for tobacco companies, against
companies in other sectors.
The associability check will also include registrations from
before 4 July 2012, when Article 3/15 of Law No: 4207 was
The Board will gradually complete associability checks,
evaluating certain criteria listed in the Amendment Decision.
The Board's inspections will be primarily based on the
Turkish Patent Institute's trademark database and Ministry of
Customs and Trade's trade registry database.
The Board will consider:
(first stage) whether the two elements being compared have the
same figure and design, or are clearly and directly identical.
(if the subject passes the first stage) whether the users of
the elements are legally or economically related.
(if the subject passes both stages above) whether the elements
remind viewers of a tobacco product or tobacco company, encourage
use of a tobacco product, or have similar elements.
Increased details are introduced for tobacco companies to
choose a name, emblem, logo or trademark.
During establishment, tobacco-related companies must now
A range of specified license and compliance documents, listed
in the Amendment Decision.
An undertaking to the Board confirming that they have meet all
relevant legal conditions.
Breaches of the undertaking or related licenses and documents
will receive administrative penalties between 50,000 TRY and
The Board will grant non-compliant companies six months to meet
the conditions of Law No. 4207 and the Amendment Decision.
Administrative penalties will apply for non-compliance after that
Please see this link for the Amendment Decision
(only available in Turkish).
Information first published in the
MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by
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