Turkey: Trademark Cancellation Process Simplified

Effective January 10, 2024, Türkiye has shifted trademark cancellation authority from courts to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO). This aims to simplify processes, especially in instances concerning non-use, generic, misleading, or non-compliant trademarks, anticipating a quicker, cost-effective administrative procedure likely leading to increased cancellation actions.

It must be noted that Pending cases as of January 10, 2024, will continue in the courts.

Decisions by the TPTO regarding cancellation requests cannot be directly challenged in court. Alternatively, appellants within 2 months of notification can submit written and justified appeals to the TPTO. The Re-examination and Evaluation Board (RERB) within the TPTO will review these appeals. Pursuant to Article 156 of the Turkish intellectual property law, individuals can file actions for cancelation before the Ankara Intellectual and Industrial Rights Law Court against RERB decisions within two months of notification.

These modifications mark a significant shift toward administrative procedures, requiring trademark owners and challengers to adapt their strategies accordingly. Compliance with formalities and understanding the appeals process will be crucial in navigating the new trademark cancellation framework in Türkiye. Trademark owners are urged to maintain active use and consider new applications to safeguard their rights. For challengers, the TPTO is now the primary venue for filing cancellation requests.