Turkey: Industrial Property Law Bill

Last Updated: 20 October 2016
Article by Ecem Susoy

Aim of the Bill

With the Industrial Property Law Bill1 ("Bill") presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 6th, 2016, it is intended to protect the rights with regard to trademarks, geographical indications, designs, patents, utility model and traditional product names. As specified in the preamble of the Bill ("Preamble"), in parallel with Turkey's economic development, there has been significant progress in the field of industrial property rights, the applications of patents, designs and trademarks, in particular, have significantly increased. In line with the improvements in the industrial property field, and for the purpose of ensuring compliance with European Union regulations and international agreements, the Bill was drafted and, in this regard, it is expected to bring solutions to the problems encountered in practice, and to contribute to the realization of technologic, economic and social progress.

The Bill combines all separate and ununiformed regulations of trademarks, patents, industrial designs and protection of geographical indications under a single roof. As well, as specified in the Preamble, in the previous two years, the Constitutional Court has decided upon the repeal of certain provisions of Decree-Laws No. 551 and 556 due to the fact that they are contrary to Article 91/1 of the Constitution with the following justification: "Intellectual and industrial property rights that are under the scope of intangible goods are one of the property rights regulated under Article 35 of the second part of the Constitution, entitled 'Rights and Duties of an Individual,' and since the first paragraph of Article 91 of the Constitution states that "Without prejudice to the martial rule and state of emergency, fundamental rights, individual rights and responsibilities regulated under the first and second section of the Constitution, and political rights and duties contained in the fourth section thereof cannot be regulated by the decrees." In this regard, by means of regulating all of the industrial property rights that are under the scope of property rights, one of the fundamental rights by law, the Bill was prepared in order to prevent the cancellation of the Constitutional Court, and to enact the regulations by the law.

Even if it is unclear as to when this Bill would be enacted, it is possible that with the entry into force of this Bill, major developments and changes in industrial property field would be birthed. Some of the major regulations brought by the Bill are briefly examined, below.

What does the Bill aim to bring?


The First Part of the Bill regulates trademarks. With this Bill, more efficient use of registered trademarks in the market, prevention of the registration requests for trademarks that are unlikely to be used, and encouraging the use of trademarks are intended.

The logos that could be used as trademarks are reorganized under the Bill in compliance with Article 15 of TRIPS, the new EU Trademark Directive, and the EU Trademark Regulation. In lieu of the current regulation stating that although the trademarks are required to be any type of logos being represented graphically, the Bill sets forth that a trademark may consist of a sign that may be lodged with the registry, provided that it clearly identifies the subject of the protection granted to the trademark holder. In line with economic and, in particular, technologic developments, the Bill paves the way for registration of many kinds of trademarks, such as the sound and motion trademarks in Turkey, as they are registered in many other jurisdictions. Additionally, the Bill does not adopt the numerus clauses principle in specifying the logos to be used as trademarks.

Absolute and relative grounds for the refusal of a trademark registration are redrafted with the Bill. In paragraph 4 of Article 6 of the Bill regulating the relative grounds for registration of a trademark, the applications for the trademarks of well-known trademarks according to 6bis of the Paris Convention that has identical or similar goods and services may be refused upon opposition. The above-stated regulation that is currently covered under the title of 'absolute grounds' in Decree-Law No. 556 is put under the title of 'relative grounds' in accordance with the EU and in international practice.

Pursuant to the Bill, any opposition to the registration of a trademark published in the Bulletin shall be submitted by the relevant persons within two months as of the publication of the application. It might be said that the registration period is intended to be shortened by means of decreasing the opposition period from three months to two months.

Article 189 of the Bill specifies the repeal of trademarks by the Turkish Patent Institute ("TPI") that shall enter into force seven years after the publication of the Industrial Property Law. In accordance with such regulation, if, within a period of five years following the registration, the trademark has not been put to use in Turkey without a justifiable reason, or if the use has been suspended during an uninterrupted period of five years, the trademark shall be repealed. Also, if a trademark becomes a commonly used name for the goods and services that the trademark is registered with as a result of its right holder not taking the necessary precautions if a trademark that is of such a nature so as to deceive the public, such as to the nature, quality, place of production or geographical origin, in the event of misuse against the guaranteed trademark or common trademark technic specification, such trademark shall be repealed.

As per Article 14 of the Bill, an international application rendered within the scope of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Trademarks shall have the same results as the application that has been made directly to the TPI.

Geographical Indication and Traditional Product Name

The Bill provides protection to traditional product name, as well as the geographical indication. EU Regulation No. 1151/2012 on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs has been taken as an example in preparation of the Bill. The products that do not enter within the scope of geographical indication, but which have the traditional characteristics, shall be protected by the registry as the 'traditional product name.'

Decree-Law No. 555 does not contain any objection procedure that is granted for the applications refused in the examination process. However, in accordance with the Bill, the applicants may object to the TPI on its decision within two months as of the notification date of the decision. Also, the six-month objection process against the applications published in the Bulletin was decreased to three-months, in order to shorten the registration period.

The information contained in the applications for geographical indication in accordance with Statuary Decree-Law No. 555 is published in the Official Gazette, the local newspaper and newspapers with large circulations. Since publication in the newspapers with large circulations is costly, the Bill introduces the publication of the application only in the Bulletin in order to decrease the announcement costs.

Pursuant to the Implementing Regulation under Decree-Law No. 555 on the Protection of Geographical Indications, the reports with regard to the audits that must be conducted by the registrants must be submitted to the TPI every ten years; however, the Bill decreases this period to two years, and aims to activate the auditing process.

Additionally, with the Bill, in order to establish a new head of department having the capacity of meeting the requirements of the country, it is decided to restructure the operations performed by the Head of Department of Trademarks under the Head of Department of Geographical Indications.

Patent and Utility Model

With the Bill, certain regulations on the patent and utility models are introduced, such as, simplifying and fastening the process of granting patents, and utility models for eliminating the problems encountered in practice, abolishing unexamined patent system that causes major legal problems between the right holders and the firms, and is open to misusing, objection to the granted patents following the registration, preparation of research report for the utility model applications, granting the right of ownership for the findings of the university members to the higher education institutions for the purpose of revealing the finding potential of the university members, and integrating them into the economy. In this regard, it is aimed to enhance the structure of the patent and utility model system.


Pursuant to the Third Part of the Bill entitled 'Design', it is intended to bring solutions to the problems encountered in practice, and ensuring full compliance with the European Union regulations and international agreements, particularly with the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs in order to render the legislation systematic and simple for finalizing the transactions in line with the needs of the users quickly, and with minimal bureaucracy.

Although Decree-Law No. 554 includes the 'Industrial Design' term, the Third Part of the Bill includes only the word 'Design' due to the fact that a product where the design is used or applied to does not need to be produced by industrial means.

In accordance with another embodiment of the Bill, the procedures and principles related to the examination of the application for registration of design is re-defined. The registration requests that are not in conformity with the definition of design and product, this includes any improper use against public order and public ethics, becomes public in terms of religious, historical and cultural values, and the inappropriate use of the logos that are not granted to be registered, and the registration requests that are recognized as not new shall be refused ex-officio by the TPI. Additionally, as to another important regulation embodied in the Bill, the six-month objection process to the design applications published in the Bulletin was decreased to three-months, in order to shorten the registration period.

Moreover, employers shall be the right-holder of the designs devised by the persons deemed as instructors by Higher Education Law No. 2547, persons working in state institutions, and organizations, students and interns who work free of charge and for an indefinite period of time.


In line with the improvements in the industrial property field, and for the purpose of ensuring compliance with European Union regulations and international agreements the Bill has drafted and, in this regard, it is expected to bring solutions to the problems encountered in practice, and to contribute to the realization of technologic, economic and social progress. With the entry into force of the Industrial Property Law, certain provisions of Laws No. 5000 and 5147, Decree-Law No. 551 Pertaining to the Protection of Patent Rights, Decree-Law No. 554 Pertaining to the Protection of Industrial Designs, Decree-Law No. 555 Pertaining to the Protection of Geographical Indications, and Decree-Law No. 556 Pertaining to the Protection of Trademarks shall be abolished.


1 Please see http://www2.tbmm.gov.tr/d26/1/1-0699.pdf (Last access date: 15.07.2016)

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.

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.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


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.