Latest updates

Trademark protection of mobile apps
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • 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 Gürkaynak 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 Gürkaynak 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 Gürkaynak 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
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • 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
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • 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.

Mandatory mediation in IP disputes
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 01 April 2019

The Istanbul IP Court recently dismissed a copyright infringement action involving a compensation claim on the grounds that the plaintiff had not fulfilled the procedural requirement to apply for meditation before filing the court action. The court's decision was based on Law 7155, which requires the implementation of a mediation procedure before instituting a court action. This article examines the effect that mandatory mediation will have on IP disputes.

Constitutional Court annuls provision on imprisonment for opposition to interim injunctions
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • 26 March 2019

Parties that failed to comply with an interim injunction or that violated an injunction previously faced one to six months' imprisonment. However, the Constitutional Court recently annulled this provision due to its lack of clear regulation and legal remedies. The changes will enter into force nine months after their publication in the Official Gazette and are final and binding on legislative, executive and judicial bodies, administrative authorities and real and legal entities.

Financial distress and board of directors' liabilities
Selvi & Ertekin
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Turkey
  • 22 March 2019

Pursuant to Article 376/3 of the Commercial Code, where there are signs that a company is in financial distress, its board of directors should prepare an interim balance sheet. If the balance sheet verifies that the company is in financial distress, the board should notify the first-instance commercial court where the company is headquartered and request a bankruptcy declaration. Directors of boards which fail to follow these steps could be held civilly or criminally liable.

Squeeze-out mergers in Turkey – an overview
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Turkey
  • 20 March 2019

Squeeze-outs in Turkey are regulated under the Commercial Code where they concern private companies and the Capital Markets Law where they concern publicly held companies. This article examines the different processes for carrying out squeeze-outs at private and publicly held companies, as well as the squeeze-out rights available to controlling shareholders and the squeeze-out merger process.

E-commerce websites and trademark protection
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 18 March 2019

The popularity of e-commerce websites in Turkey has grown in recent years. However, while e-commerce websites are important for the economy, their relationship with trademark protection is a controversial topic, as e-commerce website owners provide a platform through which other retailers can sell their products rather than producing products themselves. This article examines the steps that holders and e-commerce websites should take to ensure that their trademarks are fully protected.

Competition aspects of merger control: 2018 M&A status report
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 07 March 2019

The Competition Board recently published its annual M&A status report, which outlines statistics concerning merger control decisions with regard to the number of transactions, the parties' country of origin, economic activities and transaction values. The Competition Board reviewed a total of 223 mergers and acquisitions in 2018, which is higher than average and constitutes a 21% increase compared with 2017.

Supreme Court rules inappropriately worded emails are valid reason for termination
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Turkey
  • 06 March 2019

The Supreme Court recently found that the failure of employees to use appropriate language in their written workplace correspondence with superiors or colleagues constitutes a valid reason for termination. The court held that although the actions of the employee in question had not been serious enough to constitute just cause for termination and deprive him of his termination benefits, the employer could not be expected to continue the employment relationship.

Copyright protection of TV formats and programmes
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 04 March 2019

Turkey exported TV content worth $350 million in 2017, becoming the second largest exporter of TV drama in the world. However, the question of whether TV formats enjoy copyright protection under the Copyright Act has long been debated in Turkey. This article examines the legal doctrine and recent Supreme Court of Appeals case law in this regard in order to examine the copyright protection afforded to TV formats and programmes.

Changes to minimum wage, severance payments and administrative fines
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Turkey
  • 13 February 2019

Minimum wage, severance payments and administrative fines prescribed by the Labour Act are revised at the beginning of each calendar year. The minimum wage rate was recently increased to TL2,558.40 (gross) and the maximum severance payment was increased to TL6,017.60 (gross). In addition, the rate of administrative fines was increased by 23.73% compared with 2018.

Novelty examination of design applications
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 11 February 2019

The new Industrial Property Code (IP Code) grants protection through registration for designs that fulfil its novelty and individual character criteria. Under the IP Code, the Patent and Trademark Office is entitled to carry out ex officio examinations of novelty in order to grant protection in this regard. The examination of the novelty of design applications under the IP Code is expected to reduce the amount of third-party oppositions and increase the quality of design registrations.