The Industrial Property Law No. 6769 (“SMK”), which was created within the framework of the European Union harmonization laws and relevant international agreements, entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated 10.01.2017 and numbered 29944.
The SMK, which was created to comply with the Industrial Property Law, European Union regulations and international agreements, aims to provide solutions to the problems encountered in practice, to contribute to technological and economic progress and to meet the existing needs in this direction. With this law, the issues that have been regulated by separate Statutory Decrees that have been regulating patent, trademark, industrial design and geographical indication issues for a long time have been regulated under a single law.
The name of the Turkish Patent Institute has been changed as the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, and important changes have been made in its structure and operation, and various changes have been made and new regulations have been made on issues such as Trademark and Patent Attorneys and Intellectual Property Academy within the scope of SMK. Below, some of the issues that are basically regulated within the scope of SMK are briefly examined and the information note regarding the last legal regulation mentioned above is presented for your information;
With the regulations of SMK on trademarks, it is aimed to encourage the use of trademarks by introducing a regulation requiring the submission of information and documents regarding usage from the party objecting to the publication in order to ensure more effective use of registered trademarks in the market and to prevent trademark registration requests for goods and services that are not intended to be used.
Signs that can be trademarks have been rearranged within the scope of international conventions, and in order to ensure the registration of new trademark types, the condition of “being able to be shown in the registry in a way that will enable a clear and precise understanding of the trademark protection” has been included instead of the condition of “can be displayed with drawings”. Thus, depending on the technological developments, the way of registration of voice and motion trademarks, which are possible in many countries, as new trademark types has been paved.
Although the absolute and relative grounds for refusal in trademark registration were rearranged, it was regulated as an absolute reason for refusal within the scope of the Decree Law No. 556, but was canceled with the decision of the Constitutional Court numbered 2015/33 published in the Official Gazette dated 02.06.2015, on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, Paris The same or similar trademark applications within the meaning of the 1st repeated article 6 of the contract will be rejected upon objection, and it is understood that this issue is regulated as a relative reason for rejection within the scope of SMK. In this context, well-known trademark owners are required to expand their trademark searches and initiate the objection process based on the relevant provision in case of an application for the same or a similar trademark.
Again, in parallel with the European Union regulation, an administrative annulment procedure has been introduced for the trademarks to enter into force seven years later, and within this scope, the cancellation of the trademarks has been arranged by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. Accordingly, within five years from the date of registration, the trademark will not be used seriously by the owner of the trademark in terms of the commodities for which it has been registered without a justifiable reason, or the use of which has been suspended continuously for five years, will be cancelled. In addition, if the trademark owner misleads the public about the quality, quality or geographical origin of the trademark as a result of not taking the necessary precautions, it is possible to cancel the trademark in case it is a guarantee trademark or becomes a joint trademark.
In addition, the international trademark application to be made within the scope of international agreements can be made directly to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office.
While the duration of objections to the publication of the trademarks published in the Trademark Bulletin was determined as three months by the Decree-Law, this period was reduced to two months under the SMK.
SMK’s regulations on industrial design include provisions that are suitable for simple and fast solutions to the problems and needs encountered in practice, while aiming to ensure full compliance with the European Union and international agreements.
The most important innovation in this field is the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, which is understood to be not new, includes the improper use of signs that do not comply with the design and product definition, are contrary to public order and general morality, have become public in terms of religious, historical and cultural values, and are not allowed by the relevant authorities. is to reduce the duration of objections to the registration of designs published in the Industrial Design Bulletin from six months to three months.
Patent and Utility Model
Within the scope of SMK, in order to simplify and accelerate the processes of granting patents and utility models, to eliminate the problems encountered in practice, to abolish the patent system without examination, which causes serious legal problems between the right holders and companies and is open to abuse, to object to the granted patents after registration, to search for utility model applications. Regulations have been made in order to give the right ownership of the inventions of university members to higher education institutions in order to regulate the existing invention potential in universities and bring them into the economy. Therefore, as stated in the Justification, it is aimed to make the patent and utility system more qualified.
The most important regulations contained in the Industrial Property Law No. 6769, as we have mentioned above, are for penal sanctions foreseen in cases of infringement of trademark, design and patent rights. As a matter of fact, since the relevant articles of the Decree Laws, which foresee criminal prosecution and investigation, were annulled by the Constitutional Court’s decisions numbered 2008/2 and 2009/19 on different dates, stating that they were unconstitutional, no criminal action could be taken against the person/company who violated these rights. However, with the SMK, this gap has been filled, and the regulation has been reintroduced to the person who infringes any of the trademark, design, patent and utility model rights, instead of the provisions canceled at different times.
In this context, it is seen that important steps have been taken with SMK regarding the application processes, rights of the applicant and violations in the field of trademark, patent and design. With the entry into force of the SMK on 10.01.2017, some provisions of the Law No. 5000 on the Establishment and Duties of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, and the Law No. 5147 on the Protection of Integrated Circuit Topographies, and the Decree Law No. 551 on the Protection of Patent Rights, on the Protection of Industrial Designs No. 554. Decree-Law on the Protection of Geographical Indications No. 555, Decree-Law No. 556 on the Protection of Trademarks are repealed.