Until recently, as a general practice of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office ("TPTO"), all information and documents in relation to oppositions and counterviews were publicly available.

As of September 2020, in accordance with Turkish Personal Data Protection Law No. 6698, the TPTO has changed its practice and started to no longer grant access to the opposition petitions and their exhibits to general public for the reason that the opposition petitions and their attachments may contain personal information and documents about applicants and/or opponents.

With this recent change, persons/entities who are not parties to the proceedings will only be able to view basic information regarding the oppositions (opponent name, opposition date, grounds for the oppositions etc.) on the TPTO's web interface.

Accordingly, since only those who are party to the proceedings are allowed to access the opposition petitions and their exhibits, applicants are required to appoint a local Turkish representative for the Turkish designations of their International Registrations to examine all the documents.

The lack of an appointed local Turkish representative for a Turkish designation of an International Registration before the TPTO also presents itself as a serious problem in cases where applicants decide to file their counterviews and/or raise a non-use defense against oppositions. Indeed, in order to proceed such actions, the new electronic filing system of the TPTO, called EPATS, requires the barcode number of the opponent's petition which is available to the local Turkish representative only if the representative is appointed for the relevant International Registration.

Under these circumstances, it is highly recommended to appoint a local representative for the Turkish designation of the International Registrations to ensure effective defense against a possible opposition. 

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.