Turkey announced the adoption of Law No. 6769 on the Protection of Industrial Property Rights, which repeals and replaces the Decree Laws on Patents and Utility Models, on Trademark and Service marks, on Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications. The new Law passed before the Grand National Assembly on December 22, 2016 and entered into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette on January 10, 2017. This coincided with an increase in the official fees for trademark matters. The increase also applies to EP Validation, search and examination, and the annuity maintenance fees for patents and utility models. The new rates went into force as of January 1, 2017.
The Law includes provisions on the protection of patents, integrated circuits, industrial designs, trademarks and trade names, which ensures that Turkey’s IP framework is now better suited to the needs of IPR owners, and is more harmonized with global practice. The Law also stipulates the restructuring of the internal organization of the Turkish Patent Institute that was aptly renamed the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office.
The main changes in the Law include the enforceability of co-existence agreements and letters of consent, which will enable the applicants to overcome a relative grounds rejection with the prior right owner’s consent. As for oppositions, the Law makes a clear distinction between well-known trademarks registered in Turkey and those which are not. This means that the owner of an unregistered well-known trademark will, therefore, be able to oppose applications for a mark identical or similar to a well-known trademark, for the same or similar goods and services. Furthermore, the Law introduces a new opposition ground: the defense of non-use. This stipulates that if the owner of the opposed application can claim that the opposing party has not used its trademark for more than five years with a justified reason after its registration date and in case of this defense, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office will request the opposing party to provide substantial evidence regarding the use of the trademark. If they are not provided, the opposition will be rejected.
During the transitional period before the issuance of the implementing regulations, we expect further developments and news that will clarify the direct benefits of Turkey’s new Law.
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