Turkey: Turkish Patent And Trademark Office Issues Guidelines For Proof Of Use In Opposition Proceedings

Last Updated: 29 March 2018
Article by Güldeni̇z Doğan Alkan and Kubra Kaplan

Turkish Patent and Trademark Office issues guidelines for proof of use in opposition proceedings

Following the entry into force of the Industrial Property Code (6769) on January 10 2017 and the Regulation on the Implementation of the Industrial Property Code on April 24 2017 (see "New IP Code enters into force: 2017 will be the year of IP rights" and "Entry into force of new Regulation on the Implementation of the Industrial Property Code"), on April 28 2017 the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) published the Proof of Use Guidelines, which regulate the submission of evidence of genuine trademark use.

One of the major changes introduced by the Industrial Property Code in relation to trademarks is that the non-use defence/proof of use request can now be availed of at the opposition phase as well as cancellation and infringement actions. According to Article 19 of the code, if the trademark on which the opposition is based has been registered for more than five years as of the application or priority date of the opposed trademark application, on request by the owner of the trademark application, the TPTO must ask the opponent to prove the effective use of its trademark in relation to the relevant goods or services in Turkey. As per Article 29 of the implementing regulation, the TPTO will grant the opponent one month to submit its evidence of genuine use.

The Proof of Use Guidelines were prepared in light of EU Intellectual Property Office and European Court of Justice precedents. They regulate the submission of evidence of trademark use and the TPTO's interpretation of such evidence. In this regard, the TPTO has stated that the effective use of trademarks can be proven by submission of invoices, catalogues, price lists, product codes, products, packaging, signboard visuals, advertisements, promotions and their invoices, marketing surveys, opinion research, information regarding the trademark owner's commercial activity and any other documents or statements relevant to Turkey. These documents must contain sufficient information on the characteristics, place and time of use of the trademark.

According to the guidelines, evidence should be submitted along with an evidence list in the form stipulated by the TPTO – in particular, the evidence should sufficiently classified and designated and the list should be in A4 format. Further, the relevant trademark should be stipulated at the top of each page of the evidence document, the information showing the effective use of the trademark should be highlighted and the total page count of the evidence document should be indicated. It is advised that the evidence document not exceed 100 pages.

The guidelines clearly consider invoices to be the best evidence of trademark use in Turkey. Invoices must contain sufficient information on the nature, location, time and scope of use of the trademark in relation to the goods or services for which it was registered. If the invoice includes information on more than one trademark, good or service, the relevant trademark and goods or services should be highlighted and the trademark registration number should be written on the relevant invoices, so that the examiner can clearly discern which evidence is related to which trademark and goods or services.

The guidelines mention that catalogues, price lists and product codes are ancillary evidence of effective trademark use. If the goods or services relate to a product code in the invoices, explanatory information must be submitted regarding the link between the product code and the relevant trademark. Otherwise, if an invoice cannot be associated with the goods or services and the trademark during the examination, the TPTO may not accept it as evidence.

The guidelines expand on the evidence specified under Article 30 of the implementing regulation, indicating that products, packaging, loose issue stock and signboard visuals are accepted as sufficient evidence of trademark use (if they stipulate the date). The TPTO requests that samples of such evidence be submitted to facilitate the examination process.

As per the guidelines, advertisements, promotions and their invoices, marketing surveys and opinion research demonstrate that the trademark owner has invested in the trademark and are thus accepted as proof of use. The TPTO has stated that relevant videos may be submitted in CD format, but this must be indicated on the evidence list. Since advertisements and promotions demonstrate investment in trademarks, advertising budgets should also be submitted to prove sustained use of the relevant trademark.

The guidelines stipulate that information on the trademark owner's commercial activity can be submitted as evidence of use, provided that such information is associated with the effective use of the relevant trademark (eg, prizes, awards and quality certificates).

With regard to online sales, website visuals may be used as evidence of effective trademark use in Turkey. If the relevant trademark is used as a domain name, such visuals and visitor statistics for the website can also be submitted as evidence.

Detailed and tangible statements may also be submitted as evidence. However, under Turkish law such statements are merely discretionary evidence and are not binding on the TPTO.

Submitted evidence must contain sufficient information on the nature, location, time, scope and use of the trademark in relation to the goods and services for which it was registered. The guidelines clarify the types of evidence that the TPTO will consider during the opposition examination. The timeframe for examination of the opposition action will be shortened if the submitted evidence complies with the criteria set out in the guidelines.

In order to submit evidence that complies with the guidelines, trademark owners opposing a subsequent trademark application should first use their trademark seriously and continuously in Turkey. If they fail to do so, they should submit justified reasons for non-use (eg, financial difficulties or the occurrence of a natural disaster).

The Industrial Property Code sets out timeframes for requesting proof of use and submitting evidence in this respect. According to Article 29 of the implementing regulation, the applicant must notify the TPTO of its request for proof of use within the one-month period provided for it to submit its response to the opposition. The opponent will then have one month to submit evidence of genuine use of its trademark in Turkey. If the TPTO deems the submitted evidence to be insufficient, it will grant the opponent one additional month to submit further evidence. Therefore, when filing an opposition against a trademark application in Turkey, trademark owners should be mindful of the non-use defence/proof of use request available to the applicant and should be ready to submit evidence of serious use of their trademarks.

In this respect, preparing a file including invoices, customs certificates and similar evidence of use before filing the opposition will speed up the process. If the evidence includes sufficient information on the nature, location, time and scope of use of the trademark in relation to the goods or services subject to opposition as per the guidelines, the timeframe for the TPTO's examination of the opposition will be shortened considerably.

If the opponent fails to prove use of its trademark or the evidence submitted is unrelated to the trademark's use and no other claims are made, the TPTO will refuse the opposition.

First published by WTR, in 18.05.2017

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.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Kılınç Law & Consulting
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”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Kılınç Law & Consulting
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions