ANKARA – The new Industrial Property Law No. 6769 which was adopted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on December 22, 2016, entered into force as from its publication date at the official gazette on January 10, 2017.
The new law covers all industrial property matters (trademarks, patents, industrial designs and geographical indications) which were previously protected by individual decrees.
The most important changes in the protection of industrial property rights are summarized as follows:
- The co‐existence of trademarks is now available by way of submission of co‐existence agreement or letter of consent. An existing co‐existence agreement or letter of consent may be submitted along with filing application or at the time of filing an appeal against the rejection decision.
- During an opposition proceeding, the owner of the published mark will have right to request the demurrer to submit evidence of intensive use or valid/justified reasons for non‐use, where the opposition basis trademark is registered for more than five years.
- The opposition term is two months, which used to be three months as per the trademark decree.
- The well‐known status of a mark, even if not recorded in Turkey, is available as a relative opposition ground.
- The cancellation actions based on non‐use for five years, deceiving the public, generic name and use of guarantee and collective trademarks in violation of the technical regulation will be filed before the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. The related article will enter into force as from 2023.
- The bad intention is accepted as a relative opposition ground.
- The definition of trademark is expanded, which enables the registration of sounds, scents and color marks. Thus, the scope of distinctiveness criteria is complying with EU legislation.
- A trademark that contains geographical indications cannot be registered.
PATENTS AND UTILITY MODELS:
- Non‐examined patents are not available anymore. As per the patent decree, it was possible to obtain non‐examined patents of seven years.
- There is six months period for filing an opposition against a patent after the publication of grant.
- Criminal measures are no longer applicable for infringement of patents, while legal measures still exist.
- Inventions achieved during the projects supported by the public institutions are to be reported to the related institutions within a prescribed period. In case the inventor does not claim ownership the concerning invention will be the institution’s property.
- It is not applicable to protect chemical and biological substances or products obtained from these chemical and biological substances; pharmaceutical preparations and products obtained pharmaceutical preparations; biotechnical inventions and methods or products obtained from these inventions and methods as utility models.
- Novelty search becomes a part of the formal examination. Hence, the office may reject an application based on the related ground.
- The opposition period is three months which used to be six months.
- Non‐registered designs will be subject to protection for three years from the first date of disclosure to public.
- A complex product’s parts are not registrable if not apparent/observable.
It is worth mentioning that trademarks, designs and patents applications which were filed before the enforcement date of this new law will be examined as per the related former decrees. Also, some of the articles’ enforcement date of the current law has been postponed.