Frequently Asked Questions on Turkish Design Registration and Protection
According to the Turkish Industrial Property Law No. 6769, what are the definitions of design and product?
According to Article 55 of the Industrial Property Law No. 6769, design is defined as the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from its features or ornamentation such as line, contour, color, shape, material, or texture.
The same article also defines a product as any industrial or handicraft product, including parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, products such as packaging, presentations of multiple objects perceived together, graphic symbols, and typographic typefaces, excluding computer programs.
Are unregistered designs also protected under the Industrial Property Law No. 6769?
In case the unregistered designs are presented to the public for the first time in Turkey and have a new and original character, they are also within the scope of design protection.
What is the Period of Protection for Designs?
The term of protection of a registered design covers a period of five years from the date of application, which may be renewed in five-year periods up to a total of twenty-five years. The protection period for unregistered designs, on the other hand, covers a period of three years from the date on which the design for which protection is sought is first presented to the public.
What are the Conditions for Design Protection in Turkey?
Protection is granted to 'novel' and 'original' designs.
According to Article 56 of the Industrial Property Law No. 6769, a design is considered to be novel if the same design has not been presented to the public anywhere in the world before the application or priority date for registered designs, or before the first public presentation of the design for unregistered designs.
A design is considered to be original if the general impression created by a design on the informed user is different from the general impression created by any design that has been presented to the public on the same user before the date of application or priority for a registered design and before the date on which the design is first presented to the public for an unregistered 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 the case of certain conditions specified in the law, the disclosure made within the twelve-month period prior to the application or priority date does not eliminate the novelty and distinctiveness of the design.
Can I file an opposition against the publication of a design registration within the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TURKPATENT)?
Yes. Third parties may object in writing to the issuing of the registration certificate within three months from the publication date.
Does the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TURKPATENT) conduct an ex officio examination after the design application is filed?
Yes. The Office rejects the following:
*Design registration requests that do not comply with the design and product description.
*Design registration requests that violate public policy or morality.
*Design registration request that is performed by natural and legal persons not covered by Article 3.
*Design registration request that involves the improper use of signs of sovereignty, including signs, arms, certificates of achievement, or denominations, that are within the scope of Article 6 bis 2 of the Paris Convention and those that are outside this scope, but which are of public interest in terms of public order, religious, historical and cultural values and for which registration permission will not be granted by the relevant authorities.
*Design registration request that is determined not to be a novel.
Which intellectual property court is authorized to review the legal compliance of the final decisions of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office ("TURKPATENT")?
The Intellectual Property Courts operating in Ankara, the capital of the Republic of Turkey, are authorized to review the final decisions of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office ("TURKPATENT").
Can a Design be invalidated after it is registered?
The validity of a registered design can be challenged by filing a lawsuit against it on the grounds specified in Article 77 of the Industrial Property Law No. 6769.
Are there any situations excluded from the scope of industrial design protection?
According to Law No. 6769, the following cases are excluded from the scope of protection
*Designs contrary to public order or public morality.
*Designs with appearance features required by the technical function of the product.
*Designs with the appearance characteristics of products that must be produced in certain shapes and sizes for the product to which the design is used or applied to be mechanically mounted or connected to another product.
*Designs that include the improper use of the signs of sovereignty within the scope of Article 6 bis 2 of the Paris Convention and the signs, arms, certificates of achievement, or denominations that are outside this scope, but which are of public interest, have become public in terms of religious, historical and cultural values and for which the relevant authorities have not granted registration permission.
What are the acts considered as an infringement of design right?
The following acts shall be deemed as an infringement of the design right:
*Producing, placing on the market, selling, offering for contracting, using for commercial purposes or keeping for these purposes, otherwise putting into the commercial field, subjecting to importation process the same product or a product so similar that it cannot be distinguished by general impression, in which a design protected under the provisions of this Law is used or applied, without the permission of the design owner.
*Expanding the rights granted by the design owner through license without permission or transferring these rights to third parties.
*Usurp the design right.