Registering well-known trademarks in Turkey


Isik Ozdogan and Ezgi Baklaci

Article 7/1-ı of the Turkish Trademark Decree Law no. 556 established a legal basis in 1995 for the Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) to refuse trademark applications on the basis that an application is similar to a well-known trademark. However, at the time, there was no mechanism available to the TPI for establishing whether a given trademark was well known or not.

Therefore, the TPI established the well-known trademark registry with the goal of recording and making information about well-known trademarks publicly accessible. The TPI has issued several bulletins since 1996, announcing the trademarks which the TPI deemed to be “well-known”. By 2004, the TPI had recorded more than 100 trademarks as being well-known.

However, this registry is not a reliable source for trademark owners. Despite Article 7/1-ı, if a trademark is registered as being well-known, this will not necessarily prevent all later inappropriate trademarks being registered. Even if a trademark is registered as well-known, the trademark owner should continue to monitor third-party trademark applications.

Despite this, it is still worth a trademark owner obtaining a well-known registration for its trademark. Such a registration can be valuable evidence in any dispute which may later arise.

trademark registration; well-known trademarks; TPI;