The debate over determining a legal framework for the enforcement of standard essential patents (SEPs) has been one of the hot IP topics of 2020. Turkey started discussing the licensing of SEPs following a decision by the Competition Authority at the end of 2019, in which the authority referred for the first time to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms regarding patented technology.
Although customs recordals are one of the most efficient ways to combat counterfeiting activities in Turkey, if goods are smuggled and suspended by customs officers or the police ex officio under the Anti-smuggling Law, IP rights holders cannot act against any suspected counterfeiting activities. However, sales of counterfeit goods may be prevented if IP rights holders are aware of the suspended goods before the directorate general of liquidation and report any suspected infringements expeditiously.
A third party's unauthorised modification or replacement of original packaging, product codes or trademarks to produce misleading claims of origin and eliminate a trademark's origin function is considered trademark infringement by means of rebranding and re-marking in principle, even though the goods are basically original. This article examines these actions within the scope of common trademark infringement and counterfeiting and the legal consequences of re-marking under the Industrial Property Code.
Since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, compulsory licensing has remained a hot topic in the IP world. As of 30 April 2020, Turkey had 120,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Although the official authorities have so far made no public announcements concerning compulsory licensing, this article sets out why Turkey has a significant role to play in the discussion.
In an IP context, bad faith is a subjective state based on an applicant's intentions when filing to register a trademark. Trademark practice and law were harmonised under the Industrial Property (IP) Code, which cites application in bad faith as a grounds for opposition. However, as neither the IP Code nor any other Turkish law sets out a precise definition of 'bad faith', the term is open to interpretation.
In a landmark decision, a first-instance court recently ruled on the re-establishment of rights as a remedy for requesting the validation of a European patent where its Turkish translation has not been filed within three months of the date on which the mention of the grant is published. The decision also addressed the recognition of a European patent application as a validly filed national application.
Law 5651 on Regulating Broadcasting on the Internet and Fighting Against Crimes Committed through Internet Broadcasting includes provisions on the responsibilities of content, hosting and access providers to combat online counterfeiting. However, the fact that existing regulations lack specific content liability for online marketing platforms may inhibit consumers and related third parties from enforcing their rights if they purchase counterfeit products.
Turkey has adopted a number of regulations to combat online counterfeiting and determine internet service provider responsibilities. However, the current system is inconsistent due to the different interpretations of whether counterfeiting falls within the scope of Article 9 of the Internet Law.
A design is accepted as having individual character if its overall impression could be distinguished by a so-called 'informed user' from a prior design made available to the public. Therefore, if the informed user considers the overall impression of a new design to be different from a design previously made available to the public, the latter design will be considered eligible for protection.
The Constitutional Court recently handed down an important decision regarding freedom of speech and unfair competition claims following the use of a company's trademark in an online domain name. This decision shows how the court handles cases in which fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and IP rights compete, especially in the service industry sector.
The physical appearance, name, expressions used and other distinctive components relating to or associated with copyrighted works or characters may enjoy trademark protection in Turkey irrespective of whether they are registered there. The aim of this approach is to prevent third parties from profiting from infringing trademarks.
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision regarding non-use cancellation actions and the retroactive enforcement of Article 9 of the Industrial Property Code (IP Code). The decision has clarified the longstanding debate and unpredictability concerning the implementation of the IP Code's non-use provision. The courts will now implement Article 9 against non-used trademarks without hesitation.
With a substantial increase in the number of copyrighted works shared online in today's digital world, takedown requests have gained increased importance in combating online copyright violations. At present, takedown requests are governed by the Copyright Act and require a slow-moving notification procedure. However, the Draft Copyright Act has proposed, among other things, allowing rights holders to request that the public prosecutor block access to infringing content in urgent cases.
Turkey's trademark classification system does not cover the term 'mobile applications' specifically. However, software and computer programs fall within the scope of Class 9 of the classification system. As mobile apps are classified as software or programs, trademark protection under Class 9 only may be insufficient for apps that also cover services in other classes. This article examines how best to protect mobile apps under the Trademark Law.
The absence of a clear reference to small shipments in customs legislation has created doubt over whether customs officers should seize small shipments of counterfeit goods. This unfortunately encourages manufacturers of counterfeit goods to minimise the risk of seizure by using small shipments. However, the government looks set to enact a new Customs Law to regulate small shipments and protect rights holders.
As specialised IP court judges do not have technical backgrounds, expert reports are essential in patent litigation. As a general practice, the courts obtain reports concerning an alleged infringement, invalidity claim or compensation claim from the court-appointed experts during the trial. Given the number of expert reports provided in patent litigation, cross-examination is vital as it allows the courts to gain an understanding of the matter at hand.
The Istanbul IP Court recently dismissed a copyright infringement action involving a compensation claim on the grounds that the plaintiff had not fulfilled the procedural requirement to apply for meditation before filing the court action. The court's decision was based on Law 7155, which requires the implementation of a mediation procedure before instituting a court action. This article examines the effect that mandatory mediation will have on IP disputes.
The popularity of e-commerce websites in Turkey has grown in recent years. However, while e-commerce websites are important for the economy, their relationship with trademark protection is a controversial topic, as e-commerce website owners provide a platform through which other retailers can sell their products rather than producing products themselves. This article examines the steps that holders and e-commerce websites should take to ensure that their trademarks are fully protected.
Turkey exported TV content worth $350 million in 2017, becoming the second largest exporter of TV drama in the world. However, the question of whether TV formats enjoy copyright protection under the Copyright Act has long been debated in Turkey. This article examines the legal doctrine and recent Supreme Court of Appeals case law in this regard in order to examine the copyright protection afforded to TV formats and programmes.
The new Industrial Property Code (IP Code) grants protection through registration for designs that fulfil its novelty and individual character criteria. Under the IP Code, the Patent and Trademark Office is entitled to carry out ex officio examinations of novelty in order to grant protection in this regard. The examination of the novelty of design applications under the IP Code is expected to reduce the amount of third-party oppositions and increase the quality of design registrations.