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The Turkish trademark system: the essentials


Isik Ozdogan and Ezgi Baklaci

Even though Turkey is a party to international conventions and has harmonised its trademark laws with those of the EU, there are certain aspects and practices distinctive to Turkish trademark law.

Existence of an earlier trademark is an absolute ground for refusal

Contrary to many other jurisdictions, trademark similarity is considered to be an absolute ground for provisional refusal in Turkey. The Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) oversees the trademark application process. The TPI’s role is to maintain public order and protect the public from confusion between marks. The TPI also prevents registrations of inherently unprotectable marks.

When the TPI receives a trademark application, it conducts a search of registered trademarks to determine whether there are any prior trademarks which are identical to the application, or confusingly similar. If the TPI finds an identical or confusingly similar mark, it will reject the application and cite the mark(s) which form the basis of the rejection. Even if the cited mark’s owner consents to the later mark being registered, it is not possible to overcome the TPI’s provisional refusal decision.

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