The debate over determining a legal framework for the enforcement of standard essential patents (SEPs) has been one of the hot IP topics of 2020. Turkey started discussing the licensing of SEPs following a decision by the Competition Authority at the end of 2019, in which the authority referred for the first time to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms regarding patented technology.
Although customs recordals are one of the most efficient ways to combat counterfeiting activities in Turkey, if goods are smuggled and suspended by customs officers or the police ex officio under the Anti-smuggling Law, IP rights holders cannot act against any suspected counterfeiting activities. However, sales of counterfeit goods may be prevented if IP rights holders are aware of the suspended goods before the directorate general of liquidation and report any suspected infringements expeditiously.
A third party's unauthorised modification or replacement of original packaging, product codes or trademarks to produce misleading claims of origin and eliminate a trademark's origin function is considered trademark infringement by means of rebranding and re-marking in principle, even though the goods are basically original. This article examines these actions within the scope of common trademark infringement and counterfeiting and the legal consequences of re-marking under the Industrial Property Code.
Since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, compulsory licensing has remained a hot topic in the IP world. As of 30 April 2020, Turkey had 120,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Although the official authorities have so far made no public announcements concerning compulsory licensing, this article sets out why Turkey has a significant role to play in the discussion.
In an IP context, bad faith is a subjective state based on an applicant's intentions when filing to register a trademark. Trademark practice and law were harmonised under the Industrial Property (IP) Code, which cites application in bad faith as a grounds for opposition. However, as neither the IP Code nor any other Turkish law sets out a precise definition of 'bad faith', the term is open to interpretation.