"Trademark" means trademarks or service marks including guarantee marks and collective marks. A trademark, provided that it is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one undertaking from the goods and services of other undertakings, may consist of all kinds of signs being represented graphically such as words, including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, shape of the goods or their packaging and similarly descriptive means capable of being published and reproduced by printing. Trademark may be registered along with the product or the packaging. However, the registration of the product or the packaging does not grant exclusive rights. Natural and legal persons who are not domiciled or who have no industrial or commercial establishments within the territory of the Republic of Turkey can only be represented by trademark agents. Where an agent has been appointed, all procedures are executed through the agent.
a) trademarks identical or confusingly similar with a trademark registered earlier or with an earlier date of application for registration in respect of an identical or same type of product or services, b) trademarks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which serve in trade to indicate the kind, characteristics, quality, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, or designate the time of production of the goods or of rendering of the service or other characteristics of goods or services, c) trademarks which consist exclusively of signs and names used to distinguish specific groups of craftsmen, professionals or tradesmen or have become customary in the current and established practices of the trade, d) signs containing the shape of the product which results from the nature of the good, which is necessary to obtain a technical result or which gives substantial value to the good, e) trademarks which are of such a nature as to deceive the public, such as to the nature, quality, place of production or geographical origin of the goods and services, f) trademarks which have not been authorised by the competent authorises and are to be refused pursuant to Article 6ter of the Paris Convention, g) trademarks containing badges, emblems or escutcheons other than those covered by Article 6ter of the Paris Convention which have not been authorised by the competent authorises and are of particular historical and cultural public interest, h) trademarks which have not been authorised by their owners, well known marks according to 6bis of the Paris Convention, i) trademarks which contain religious symbols, j) trademarks which contrary to public policy and to accepted principles of morality.
An application for registration of a trademark must be filed with the following: a) a petition, the form and contents of which specified in the Implementing Regulations, including information identifying the applicant, b) a representation of the trademark suitable for reproduction, c) list of the product or services for which the trademark shall be used, d) the original receipt documenting the payment of the application fees, e) the original receipt documenting the payment of the class fees, f) power of attorney if an agent is appointed, g) signature circular where the applicant is a legal person, h) documentation of the applicants business activity. The application fee must be paid at the time of filing in order an application for the registration of a trademark to be valid. Each trademark shall be subject to a separate filing of an application. All documents filed with the application for registration of a trademark or submitted later to the Institute must comply with the Implementing Regulations.
Trademarks Department of the Turkish Patent Institute carries out an examination system, which consists of examination for absolute grounds for refusal and also ex-officio examination for prior rights. If no grounds for refusal is found in the first examination, the application will be published in the monthly Official Trademark Bulletin. Third persons may file oppositions in 3 months time limit following the publication date of the Bulletin.
If there are no oppositions filed within the abovementioned time limit, the application will be registered in the Trademark Register and it will be published in the Official Trademark Gazette. If the application is refused totally or partially in the first examination, the applicant may lodge an appeal to the Institute in 2 months time limit. In this case, the application should be re-examined regarding the appeal. If the appeal is found acceptable, the application will be published totally or partially in the Bulletin, this means that the application may be the subject of a further refusal following an opposition.
For the examination of oppositions and appeals, TPI Trademarks Department has a separate division (oppositions and appeals division). Parties who are not satisfied with the decisions of this division can also appeal to the decisions before the Institute. “Re-examination and Evaluation Board” is the final decisive organ of the Institute; the decisions of the board are open to court actions in 2 months time limit.
Where an application filed under the provisions of this Decree Having the Power of Law and the related Regulations, has been found to be without defects or its deficiencies remedied or received no opposition within the prescribed period or the opposition of which has been refused shall be entered in the Register. The applicant shall receive a 'Trademark Certificate of Registry'. Registry shall include; date of registration of the trademark, representation of the trademark, application date, the list of the goods or services in respect of the trademark, classifications of the goods and services, the name and nationality of the proprietor of the trademark and agents name if applicable, title, address and country of registry of the legal person, changes relating to the trademark and to the rights on the trademark as well as other particulars specified in the Implementing Regulation. Trademark registry is open to the public. Upon request and payment of the prescribed fee a copy the register shall be available.
Trademark is registered for a period of ten years from the date of filing of the application. Registration may renewed for further periods of ten years.
Registration of the registered trademark shall be renewed, upon the payment of the renewal fee at the request of the right holder or of the person authorised by him.
The second alternative for making a trademark application in Turkey is to use the Madrid System which is administered by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Madrid system is formed by two treaties complementing each other. These treaties are the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. Turkey is a member of the Protocol only. Therefore, it accepts applications from the States which are party to the Protocol only or from the States which are party to both the Agreement and the Protocol. In both cases, the governing treaty for the international applications filed to Turkish Patent Institute is the Madrid Protocol.
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