Latest updates

Trademark rights versus freedom of speech
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 18 November 2019

The Constitutional Court recently handed down an important decision regarding freedom of speech and unfair competition claims following the use of a company's trademark in an online domain name. This decision shows how the court handles cases in which fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and IP rights compete, especially in the service industry sector.

Competition Board appoints new members: quorum established
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 14 November 2019

Two of the three vacant positions on the Competition Board (the competent decision-making organ of the Competition Authority) have now been filled. Despite the Competition Board's existing backlog, the inauguration of the newly appointed members means that it can now proceed with and resolve contentious matters that were pending on its agenda. The lack of quorum will no longer be a limiting factor for the functioning of the board.

Survival of parties' will for penalty clauses in employment contracts
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Turkey
  • 13 November 2019

The Supreme Court General Assembly on the Unification of Judgments recently concluded that penalty clauses agreed for the unjust termination of a fixed-term employment contract before its end date are valid and enforceable even if the contract is deemed to be of an indefinite nature due to a lack of objective conditions required by law to conclude fixed-term contracts.

Non-registered cartoon characters may enjoy trademark protection in Turkey
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 11 November 2019

The physical appearance, name, expressions used and other distinctive components relating to or associated with copyrighted works or characters may enjoy trademark protection in Turkey irrespective of whether they are registered there. The aim of this approach is to prevent third parties from profiting from infringing trademarks.

What are your duties as a director of a joint stock company?
Kayum & Demir
  • Company & Commercial
  • Turkey
  • 04 November 2019

Boards of directors are the administrative and representative bodies of joint stock companies. This article examines the general duties of directors in Turkey under the Commercial Code and the liability regime for directors, including social security-related liability, tax liabilities and potential exemptions to liability.

Competition Board orders gym franchiser to revise non-compete and non-poaching clauses
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 19 September 2019

The Competition Board recently published the results of its preliminary investigation into a gym franchise business following a complaint that its franchising agreements violated Law 4054 and the Block Exemption Communique on Vertical Agreements. The board ordered the franchiser to revise its non-compete and non-poaching clauses to comply with competition law in terms of duration, geographical area and written consent.

Supreme Court clarifies non-use debate
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 19 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision regarding non-use cancellation actions and the retroactive enforcement of Article 9 of the Industrial Property Code (IP Code). The decision has clarified the longstanding debate and unpredictability concerning the implementation of the IP Code's non-use provision. The courts will now implement Article 9 against non-used trademarks without hesitation.

Shareholders' agreements – enforceability issues
Kayum & Demir
  • Company & Commercial
  • Turkey
  • 12 August 2019

The enforceability of share options is one of the most controversial issues in the context of shareholders' agreements. There are a number of widely used solutions to improve the enforceability of share options in this regard, including inserting share options provisions into articles of association, establishing a holding company outside Turkey and inserting a statement on registered share certificates that shares are subject to transfer restrictions.

Potential changes to copyright takedown request procedure
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 29 July 2019

With a substantial increase in the number of copyrighted works shared online in today's digital world, takedown requests have gained increased importance in combating online copyright violations. At present, takedown requests are governed by the Copyright Act and require a slow-moving notification procedure. However, the Draft Copyright Act has proposed, among other things, allowing rights holders to request that the public prosecutor block access to infringing content in urgent cases.

Justification of court decisions – an overview
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • 23 July 2019

The justification of court decisions is regarded as a key element of the right to a fair trial. In Turkey, this right is protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the Turkish Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure and Supreme Court precedents. However, in practice, judgments are sometimes made without providing any justification as to why the parties' claims and evidence were not taken into account.

Trademark protection of mobile apps
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 22 July 2019

Turkey's trademark classification system does not cover the term 'mobile applications' specifically. However, software and computer programs fall within the scope of Class 9 of the classification system. As mobile apps are classified as software or programs, trademark protection under Class 9 only may be insufficient for apps that also cover services in other classes. This article examines how best to protect mobile apps under the Trademark Law.

Competition Board fines fertiliser company for hindering on-site inspection
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 18 July 2019

The Competition Board recently fined a fertiliser company for hindering an on-site inspection. The matter concerned whether company officials had been correct in preventing the case handlers from accessing personal email correspondence found in a corporate email account during the on-site inspection which implied that another company had been willing to revise its prices.

Mandatory mediation in labour disputes – an overview
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Turkey
  • 10 July 2019

Applying for mediation was recently made a prerequisite when filing a lawsuit concerning monetary claims by employees or employers arising out of employment contracts, collective labour agreements or reinstatement claims. Mandatory mediation was introduced to accelerate legal proceedings and lower the costs in employment disputes.

Representation by proxy in suretyship agreements
Selvi & Ertekin
  • Banking
  • Turkey
  • 07 June 2019

Suretyships are a kind of security commonly used in loan transactions which provide personal security to lenders if a borrower fails to fulfil its payment obligation. The Code of Obligations sets out certain requirements regarding the validity of suretyship agreements and enacting a suretyship agreement by proxy. This article examines these requirements in detail.

What happens when an unquantified claim is quantifiable?
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • 04 June 2019

When the new Code of Civil Procedure was enacted in 2011, it introduced a new case type to Turkish litigation where plaintiffs file an action for receivables for an unquantified amount that is left to the courts to determine subject to dispute. This innovation in the litigation procedure raises questions regarding the instances in which plaintiffs should be deemed unable to calculate the size of their claims and what the courts should do when the receivables or damages are quantifiable.

Leverage buyouts – an overview
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Turkey
  • 29 May 2019

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a term used for a variety of transactions in which buyers (usually private equity firms) use leverage to acquire a company's shares. However, it is impossible to fully mitigate the risk that a target is deemed to provide financial assistance for the purchase of its own shares if the acquirer uses an LBO and the target provides guarantees or securities over its own assets due to a lack of established precedents. This uncertainty means that a diligent analysis is required for each transaction.

Competition Board concludes preliminary investigation into food chains
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 16 May 2019

The Competition Board recently published its reasoned decision following a preliminary investigation into allegations that çiğ köfte producers in Gaziantep province had restricted competition through anti-competitive behaviour and agreements. The complainant claimed that at a meeting at the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce, the çiğ köfte producers had determined market prices, and that undertakings which chose not to comply with the determined prices would be penalised.

Competition Board fines Ro-Ro line operators
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 02 May 2019

The Competition Board recently announced its decision following an investigation of five undertakings and one association of undertakings active in cabotage roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) transportation lines in Turkey. The reasoned decision, especially the evaluation on the Ambarli-Topcular Ro-Ro line, is expected to provide enlightening information on the board's reasoning, its views on the definition of a cartel and its approach regarding information exchange.

Counterfeiting through small shipments – new border measures expected
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 22 April 2019

The absence of a clear reference to small shipments in customs legislation has created doubt over whether customs officers should seize small shipments of counterfeit goods. This unfortunately encourages manufacturers of counterfeit goods to minimise the risk of seizure by using small shipments. However, the government looks set to enact a new Customs Law to regulate small shipments and protect rights holders.

Private expert reports and cross-examination in patent litigation
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 08 April 2019

As specialised IP court judges do not have technical backgrounds, expert reports are essential in patent litigation. As a general practice, the courts obtain reports concerning an alleged infringement, invalidity claim or compensation claim from the court-appointed experts during the trial. Given the number of expert reports provided in patent litigation, cross-examination is vital as it allows the courts to gain an understanding of the matter at hand.