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Frequently Asked Questions on Designs

March 15, 2019

What are the definitions of the design and the product according to the Industrial Property Law No.6769?

According to article 55 of 6769 numbered Industrial Property Code, the design is defined as the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, the line, contour, color, shape, material or texture of the product itself or its ornamentation.

In the same article, a product also defined as any industrial or handicraft item, including parts intended to assemble into a complex product, products like packaging, presentations of more than one object perceived together, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding computer programs.

Are non-registered designs also protected within 6769 numbered Industrial Property Code?

Yes. The non-registered designs, in case it is presented to the public for the first time in Turkey and bear the stamp of a novel and individual character, are also comprised of design protection.

What is the term of Protection for Designs?

The term of protection of a registered design covers a period of five-year as from the date of filing, which can be prolonged in total up to twenty-five-year by means of renewing in five-year periods. Whereas, the term of protection of unregistered designs covers a period of three-year as from first presentation date to the public of the design for which protection demanded.

What are the General Conditions for Design Protection in Turkey?

Protection shall be granted to a design that is ‘new’ and ‘has an individual character’.

According to article 56 of 6769 numbered Industrial Property Code, if an identical design isn’t presented to the public in any part of the world, before application or priority date for the registered design or before the design is presented to the public for the first time for non-registered design, it is accepted as a new design.

A design shall be regarded as having individual character if overall impression created by a design on the informed user differs from the overall impression created by any design presented to the public on the same user before application or priority date for the registered design and before the design is presented to the public for the first time for non-registered design.

What does the disclosure of the design mean and is there a grace period for the disclosure of a design?

The disclosure means making the design available to the public.

The design can be made available to the public by releasing it on the market. The design can also be made available to the public through the use, description, promotion and related transactions.

In case of certain conditions specified in the law, the disclosure made within the twelve-month period prior to the application or priority date do not eliminate the novelty and distinctiveness of the design.

Can I file an opposition against the publication of a design registration within Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO)?

Yes. Third parties may object in writing to the issuing of registration certificate within three months from the publication date.

Does Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) conduct an Ex-Officio examination once design application filed?

Yes. The Office rejects the design registration requests which:

- Does not comply with design and product description,

- Violates public policy or morality,

- Is made by natural persons and legal entities not included in the scope of Article3,

- Contains the inappropriate use of sovereignty signs taking place in the scope of repeating Article 6ter of Paris Convention and that covers signs, arms, certificates of achievement or denominations which are outside of this scope but interest the public order and becoming public knowledge in terms of religious, historical and cultural values and for which registration permit shall not be granted by relevant authorities.

- Is determined not to be new.

Which IP court is authorized to review the legality of the final decisions of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO)?

Intellectual Property Courts practicing in Ankara, Turkey is authorized to examine the final decisions of Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO).

Is it Possible to Invalidate a Design after it’s Registration?

Validity may be challenged by filing a lawsuit against the registered design on account of the grounds stated in article 77 of 6769 numbered Industrial Property Law.

Is There Any Situation Outside the Scope of Industrial Design Protection?

According to 6769 numbered Industrial Property Code, the below mentioned situations are outside the scope of Industrial Design Protection:

- Designs contrary to public policy or morality,

- Appearance characteristics dictated by the technical function,

- Appearance characteristics of the product which must necessarily be reproduced in its exact form and dimensions in order to permit the product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied to be mechanically connected to or placed in,

- Designs that include the inappropriate use of sovereignty signs taking place in the scope of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention and that covers signs, arms, certificates of achievement or denominations which are outside of this scope but interest the public order and becoming public knowledge in terms of religious, historical and cultural values and for which registration permit shall not be granted by relevant authorities.

What are the acts deemed an infringement of design right?

The following acts shall be deemed an infringement of a design right:

- to produce, put on the market, sell, offer for contracting, import, use for commercial purposes or stock for those purposes an identical or similar product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied without the consent of the right holder;

- to broaden the rights granted by the design owner through licensing or to transfer these rights to third parties without consent;

- to disseize the right of a design.

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