– Act No. 6769. The law was enacted on December 22, 2016 under the title Industrial Property Law. The large majority of the provisions of the Act are enforceable as of January 10, 2017. The prosecution of an application for the protection of a design right (the word “industrial” having been formally removed from the expression “industrial design”), which may have been filed prior to January 10, 2017 will be finalized in terms of the former legislation.
Designs are dealt with in Chapter Three of Act No. 6769, in Articles 55-81 thereof. Chapter Five of Act No. 6769 incorporates the provisions of Articles 146-193. The latter provisions collectively apply in respect of rights that concern patents, utility models, marks, designs and geographical indications.
Membership in International Conventions
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since May 12, 1976.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since September 29, 1985.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since March 26, 1995.
– Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, since November 30, 1998.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act, since January 1, 2005.
Definition: protection is granted to a design that is new and exhibits individual character. Only visible parts of a complex item in the form of a design configuration shall be protected if and when the subject parts are new and possess individual character. Protection is also granted to non-registered designs for a term of three years as of the date of the first disclosure of the design on the condition that such disclosure took place in Turkey.
Novelty: a design is considered new if, before the date of application or priority (if any), no identical design has been made available to the public anywhere in the world. An unregistered design shall be considered new if before its date of disclosure, no identical design has been made available worldwide. If a design for which protection is sought has been made available to the public during the twelve-month period prior to the filing date of an application under the benefit of priority or if priority is claimed during the twelve-month period preceding the filing of an application either by the designer or his successor in title or by a third party with their approval or in breach of relations with the designer or his successor in title, such disclosures shall not affect the novelty and individuality of the design. In the assessment of individual characteristics, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design is considered.
Multiple designs: may be claimed in a single application, provided all the designs belong to the same class of the Locarno Classification. A maximum number of one hundred designs is allowed.
Priority: can be claimed according to the Paris Convention.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Full name, address and nationality of the applicant;
2. Full name, address and nationality of the designer(s). (It is compulsory to submit the name and address of the designer(s) when filing the application, however, the designer(s) may request that his/her/their name(s) is(are) not publicized);
3. If the designer(s) and/or applicant(s) is of Turkish nationality, the Turkish Identity Number of the designer(s) and/or the Tax Number of the applicant(s) is required;
4. Drawings, paintings, graphics, photographic or similar representations of the design suitable for reproduction (of sizes between 8 x 8 cm and 16 x 16 cm);
5. Priority document, if priority is claimed; such document should be filed in a non-extendible term of three months following the filing of an application (must be filed electronically);
6. Information as to whether deferment of publication is to be requested.
Electronic filing: is mandatory.
Examination and Protection
Examination: an ex officio novelty examination shall be carried out by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office upon filing of the application in addition to the formal examination. The applicant has the right to contest the relevancy of an action of rejection within two months.
Publication: designs allowed for registration are published and thereby become open to opposition for a period of three months. However, at the request of the applicant, the publication may be deferred for thirty months from the date of filing or priority (if any). Request for deferment can be withdrawn at any time before the expiry of the deferment term. A request to defer a publication is accepted only if the request is specified in the application form that is being filed, but not later. If the opposition by third party is justified, the design is not registered.
Duration: the registered design is protected for five years as of the filing date.
Renewal: this period may be renewed four times and the total protection period is twenty-five years. The renewal application may be filed during the last six months of the five-year period of protection. However, it may also be renewed with a fine, within six months from the expiration of the protection period.
Infringement and penalties: Act No. 6769 that came into force on January 10, 2017, includes no penal liabilities for design infringement.