Trademark Law in Türkiye Key Developments and Predictions - 2024

While the year 2023 did not bring substantial changes to the Turkish Trademark Law practice, it can still be considered an important year in terms of introducing some modifications and innovations in application.

A portion of the year, especially due to the changes in judges at the Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights Courts in Istanbul, passed with uncertainties. However, with the appointment of new judges to these Courts in the last quarter of the year, there has been an improvement in both the workload and the uncertainties in the processes.

During a certain period of the year, uncertainties prevailed, particularly because of the re- composition of the judges residing at the civil IP Courts of Istanbul. Nevertheless, the appointment of new judges to these Courts in the final quarter of the year led to a certain level of improvement in both case management and the clarification of uncertainties within the legal processes.

Consistent with previous years, administrative procedures of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (“the Office”) maintained their effectiveness. Notably, the Office’s approach regarding procedures for applications in bad faith may be considered an example of good practice when compared to the practices in numerous other countries.

In 2023, precedent-setting decisions were rendered both by the Office and the Courts on fundamental principles of trademark law, including the likelihood of confusion, bad faith, acquired/vested rights, and the use of a trademark in a trade name.

Furthermore, preparations regarding revocation processes based on non-use, which will now be undertaken by the Office, have been eagerly awaited due to the preparations for initiation of these processes in 2023. Indeed, a draft regulation has been prepared and was communicated to stakeholders at the end of 2023. However, although the new system became effective on January 10, 2024, uncertainties continue as the regulation has not yet come into force.

In addition, discussions on the impact of technological advancements with respect to physical and virtual goods and the impact of artificial intelligence on trademark law also continued in Türkiye, echoing worldwide debates. The application of changes made in the Nice Classification by the Office is also expected in this regard.

Moreover, Law No. 7416, amending the E-Commerce Law with respect to trademark infringements in electronic commerce, came into effect on January 1, 2023.

Another development related to trademark law practice occurred in regard to domain names. TRABIS (“tr.” network information system), which started operating in 2022, introduced alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for ‘.tr’ domain names and achieved successful results.

Additionally, operations related to drug trafficking and counterfeit drugs gained significance triggered by investigations conducted by international platforms.

This document is a compilation of recent developments in various aspects of trademark law that we believe to be of importance to trademark owners.

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