How to register a store design


Isik Ozdogan and Ezgi Baklaci

To obtain legal protection for an interior or exterior store design in Turkey a company can register it in one of two way: as a trademark or as an industrial design.

In Turkey trademark law as applied to store designs is unsettled, and greater protection may be found under the industrial design registration process. However, this option has some drawbacks, and companies should consider the relative merits of each alternative.

Turkish law regarding the registrability of non-traditional trademarks is still in flux. According to Article 5 of Trademark Decree Law No. 556: “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.”

Based on this provision it appears that the interior or exterior design of a store can be registered as a trademark; however, many questions remain, including the level of distinctiveness required and the level of protection that needs to be provided.

trademark law, design, trademark registration, TPI