Obligation To Use The Trademark As Per The Turkish Law
The most important function of the trademark is to distinguish goods and services of different firms. Thus, trademarks must be used to ensure this distinctiveness.
The Turkish legislation includes “an obligation to use the trademark actually” like in legislations of many countries.
Any trademarks which are not considerably used within 5 years as of the date of registration may be rendered null and void in the Turkish law.
As per Article 14 of the Trademark Law No. 556 “the trademark is cancelled if the trademark is not used within five years as of the date of registration without a fair reason or this usage is discontinued for a period of five successive years”.
Purpose of this arrangement is to;
- prevent unused trademarks from occupying the Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) registry uselessly,
- force the trademark to be used in the commercial life, develop trade,
- give opportunity to any persons who desire to use such trademark.
Annulment is not made by the TPI directly/automatically but it is possible by filing an action with a request for annulment of the trademark.
Any firm/person requesting for annulment must file the action by alleging that he/it has an interest in filing the action (e.g. his/its desire to use the registered trademark himself/itself,..etc.) and that the trademark under the action has not been used for 5 years.
The person who request for Nullity must prove that the trademark has not been used for 5 years.
In this action, the burden of proof belongs to the proprietor of the trademark and the proprietor of trademark must prove that it uses the trademark under the action in Turkey actually and substantially.
If the proprietor of trademark fails to prove its use of the trademark, nullity of the trademark is decided.
Actions for nullity of trademarks which have not been used for 5 years as of the date of registration result in serious problems for non-Turkish trademarks in particular.
International (non-Turkish) trademarks are registered considering the Market position of Turkey and a possibility for them to carry out trading on the Turkish market in the future.
However, they may encounter with nullity of trademarks if no business activity has been carried out in Turkey for 5 years.
In particular, trademarks which are known on the international market but not enter into any business activity in Turkey yet may be deregistered as a result of actions for nullity filed by malicious persons although they are registered in Turkey.
The most appropriate action is to engage in a business activity in Turkey within 5 years as of registration of the trademark in order not to encounter with such a bad surprising action; this business activity should not have a very high turnover but it is sufficient to be persistent.
On the other hand, it is essential to get support from the Law offices which know the Turkish law and trademark practices very well.
ELTUTAN Law & Patent Office
Eltutan Patent Office was established by attorney Murat Eltutan and his colleagues in İstanbul, Turkey in 1996.
Our firm provides legal services specializing in intellectual property law and Trademark- Patent- Industrial Design registration procedures for domestic and international clients.
Our firm performs protective law consultancy with its expert team members. Thus, it provides services while keeping our clients in a lawful and fair environment and maintaining their judicial safety.
We do not give legal service only after we encounter problems but we work in a way to foresee and prevent problems to emerge, and to give service of conciliatory consultancy.
You Can Consult Us for Your Clients’ Trademark, Patent, Industrial Design Registration Prodecures and Questions of Law in Turkey.
Attorney Emine Artar TURKISH – ENGLISH
Tel: +90(212) - 272 28 00 Fax: +90(212) - 274 61 46