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How do you get a trademark registration in Turkey?
Trademark registration in Turkey is available to natural or legal persons residing in the country or exercising commercial activities within the country’s borders. Realizing trademark registration in Turkey is something that many different entrepreneurs ignore. A shame, because this can have major consequences. Without a correct trademark registration in Turkey, your product or service does not count as your intellectual property and is therefore not protected.
Your trademark does not need to be in use at the time of the application. After all, activity is not a condition for obtaining trademark protection. However, it is wise not to leave your trademark inactive for too long, because this can eventually lead to objection on the grounds of a lack of distinctive character. A trademark registration in Turkey also gives you more options to obtain a .com.tr domain name.
Registration via the TPE or the Madrid Protocol
Trademark registration in Turkey can be applied for in two ways. The first option is to submit your request to the TPE, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. This is a direct application. After approval, trademark registration in Turkey applies to the entire country, including the islands. If you live outside Turkey, you can also submit an application through the Madrid Protocol, to which Turkey is affiliated. Your application will then be processed by WIPO. You can only submit this if you are represented by a trademark attorney.
Single and Combined Trademarks
Your trademark can be single or combined. We speak of a singular trademark when it consists only of words or, conversely, only of figurative elements. A combined application concerns both elements. If you opt for a combined trademark registration in Turkey, any granting thereof will only apply to the use of the trademark in exactly the same way in which you submitted it for review. In other words: the separate elements of your trademark are not separately protected. If you want to cover yourself against the dangers, it is best to have them registered separately.
To object to the use of your trademark by a third party
If you fail to do so, this does not immediately mean that a third party can just get away with your brand elements. When a third party intends to offer part of your trademark for similar goods or services, you have the right to object. You use the confusing resemblance as the reason for this. How successful your objection is depends on the circumstances.
Which steps are distinguished in the market registration process?
Do you choose to apply for a trademark registration in Turkey via the TPE? The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office will then conduct a thorough review. This assessment has a fixed structure and consists of the following components:
- Submitting your application online via the E-government portal
- Procedural assessment: The TPE assesses whether there are any defects in your application. If this is the case, you will be given a period of two months to resolve it
- Review based on absolute grounds for refusal and subsequent publication
- Issue of the declaration of consent
- Review of objections and appeals. If no ground for refusal is found during the initial investigation, the application will be published in the monthly Official Trademark Bulletin (Resmi Markalar Bülteni). Third parties can object within a period of two months.
- Response to any objections and grant / rejection of trademark registration
How long is trademark registration valid in Turkey?
In Turkey, trademark registrations – as in most other countries – are issued for a period of ten years. When this period ends, you can reapply for an extension. Extensions can be requested endlessly and have a duration of ten years. You can submit an extension from six months before the end date of the current registration period. Have you forgotten this? You can still submit an application up to six months after the expiry date of your trademark registration in Turkey. Because you do this in the so-called Grace Period, there are additional costs involved.
Trademark application in Turkey through the Madrid Treaty
As mentioned, your second option when applying for trademark registration in Turkey is to go the international path. You then have to rely on the Madrid System, which is part of the Madrid Treaty and is tested by WIPO. WIPO stands for World Intellectual Property Organization. Since Turkey is only a member of the treaty, it will only accept applications from parties that are.
If you want to use the international system of trademark registration, the condition is always a basic registration in the country of origin.