What are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Turkey?
The boom in counterfeit goods being posted in small parcels is due to online platforms making it easier to buy and sell counterfeits globally, which, in turn, makes it more difficult for the customs officers to search, track, and seize the counterfeit goods. The online sale of counterfeits is a promising option for infringers, since they can easily reach numerous potential customers through online channels with no expense for advertising, storage, or rental.
Which are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Turkey?
Clothes, leather goods, beverages, perfumes, and cosmetics are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Turkey.
Does Turkey have a well-established framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
What are the specific laws/orders/rules laid down in Turkey for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights?
The Industrial Property Code 6769 (10 January 2017) governs the principles, rules, and conditions relating to the protection of trademarks, patents, utility models, designs, and geographical indications.
What are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Turkey?
Trademarks, patents, utility models, designs, and geographical indications are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Turkey.
What are the general IPR enforcement obligations in Turkey?
The Turkish Law provides limited protection for unregistered trademarks. Therefore, applying and registering for rights is a good option.
What are the essential to-dos before an IP rights holder initiates the enforcement proceedings?
They are as follows:
Monitoring the market through regular market investigations to gather general knowledge of the IPRs owned by competitors in the market; and
Detecting possible infringing activities.
For trademarks and designs:
Searching for registered IPRs through online databases or official searches;
Applying for watch notice services for timely detection of all possible infringing applications; and
Registering the trademarks and designs well before starting a business.
Is there any limitation period for filing an infringement action?
Yes, 02 years from the date on which the trademark owner became aware of the damage and the party that caused the damage; and 10 years from the date on which the act was committed.
If the infringing action continues, the statute of limitations does not commence. If the infringing action constitutes a crime, the longer criminal statute of limitations applies.
Which of the following IPR enforcement channels is/are available in Turkey?
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
Are civil actions available for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in civil litigation?
Which of the following types of civil remedies is/are available in Turkey?
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Are there any other civil remedies available in Turkey than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
Other civil remedies in Turkey include the following:
Confiscation of goods constituting infringement, wherever they are located, including at customs;
Confiscation of all marketing material (signboards, business cards, and catalogues, to name a few) constituting infringement;
Prevention of access to websites constituting infringement;
Confiscation of any devices and machinery that are used for the production of infringing products;
To grant property rights for products, devices, and machinery that have been confiscated;
At the infringer’s expense, to change the shape of confiscated goods and of devices and machinery;
To remove the trademarks on such goods, or to spoil such goods if eliminating the infringement is inevitable;
To pay non-pecuniary and material damages; and
To announce the decision in a newspaper having the highest daily circulation.
What is the approximate timeline of civil litigation related to IPR enforcement in Turkey?
For trial level, it takes between 18 and 24 months to receive the decision of the first-instance court. As for the notification of the court decision, the parties have the right to appeal the decision before second instance courts namely, Regional Courts, within 02 weeks and it takes 04 to 08 months to receive the decision. Court of Cassation is the third instance court, which the decision of second instance can be appealed. It takes 10 to 18 months to receive the decision. Moreover, it is possible to ask for the revision of the Court of Cassation’s decision within 02 weeks and it takes approximately 06 to 08 months to receive a result in this matter. As for the criminal proceedings, the complainant is not a party during the criminal action, but involved in the procedure as an intervener unlike the civil lawsuit. A criminal trial proceeding takes approximately 02 to 03 years, including the appeal proceeding.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in civil litigation?
Are there any disadvantages of civil litigation in Turkey? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Civil litigation may be lengthy and time-consuming in Turkey.
Is criminal prosecution available in Turkey for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in criminal prosecution?
Which is the responsible authority in Turkey corresponding to the types of criminal remedies available? Also, mention the imprisonment term and the monetary fine.
A) Responsible Authority - Court, police, etc
B) Imprisonment Term - 01 to 04 years
C) Monetary Fine - Judicial fine calculated per day for up to 20,000 days
Are there any other criminal remedies available in Turkey than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in criminal prosecution?
Are there any disadvantages of criminal prosecution in Turkey? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Are there any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which allow parties to resolve their dispute out of court?
As of 1st January 2019, mediation is mandatory for IP-related disputes regarding receivables and compensation claims. However, there is no restriction on applying mediation to other disputes as well. IP-related disputes can be also can be resolved by arbitration. Under the Turkish Civil Procedure Law, arbitral decisions are executable without needing any judicial approval or decision.
Are border control measures (customs) available in Turkey for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to the customs authority/department to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party/importer of counterfeit goods?
What are the remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Turkey?
The remedies available under border control measures include seizure and destruction of goods.
Who must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement?
The applicant/rights holder must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs?
If an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs, the goods may be released from suspension.
Which are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Turkey?
Border measures and administrative measures are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Turkey.
Are there any risks involved in the enforcement of IPRs in Turkey? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points.