With the entry into force of the new Industrial Property Law in Turkey, we would like to highlight the ten most important changes in the protection of intangible Industrial Property rights:
- In the processing of a new trademark application, "letters of consent" are accepted which can grant prior trademark rights to holders.
- In opposition proceedings, as happens in the European Union, if the trademark that opposes a new application is more than five years old, it must provide proof of use that supports the invoked right of the prior trademark.
- The publication period of trademarks, and of designs, is reduced as follows: in the case of new trademarks, the period is reduced from the current three months to two months, and in the case of designs, from the current six months to three months.
- As of January 10, 2024, cancellation actions due to the non-use of Industrial Property rights shall be substantiated by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, and not before the court specialized in this area, which, until now, was and is, competent body.
- Any change in address, legal status or name of the holder of a trademark, industrial design, patent and/or utility model shall be automatically registered for all types of Industrial Property in which they are listed as applicant or holder.
- Now, with the new Law, there is the possibility to present and register new types of trademarks such as color trademarks, sound trademarks, three-dimensional, or 3-D, trademarks, and non-traditional trademarks that reflect movement.
- A new grace period of two years has been established for the trademarks following their non-renewal, such that they would be registered again with the same characteristics. Furthermore, if the trademark has been continuously used, it can serve as grounds to oppose new applications that are considered to be identical or similar.
- In opposition and appeal proceedings, with competing rights between two or more parties, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office can insist upon voluntary mediation so that the parties in conflict can try to come to a possible agreement to resolve it.
- Registered trademark holders can call upon courts specialized in Industrial Property to essentially prohibit the use of their trademarks in company trade names, internet keywords and domain names.
- Until now, trademarks and designs could be renewed up until the final day of the month in which they expired, however, now they must be renewed up to the date on which their rights expire, there being no grace period for designs, but a grace period of six months for trademarks.
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.