The TPI receives about 120.000 trademark applications per year and examines all on absolute grounds. Also searches over identical or confusingly similar trademark applications and registrations for the goods or services concerned. It is no surprise that earlier ones have broader coverage and 20% of new applications are rejected ex-officio. Official rejections including provisional refusals can be appealed by the applicant first before the Institute and then before the specialized court. The applicant of the international registration can receives a notification of WIPO refusal.
He or she has the same rights and remedies as if the application has been filed directly in Turkey.
– Where the applicant of the international registration receives a notification of refusal, he or she has the same rights and remedies as if the application has been filed directly in Turkey. In order to respond to such refusal, the following issues should be considered:
– A response is due after two months from the date of receipt of the official notification from WIPO. This period cannot be extended.
– Additional submission is not allowed after filing the response. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that applicants be prepared for all arguments and necessary documents beforehand.
– A Turkish trademark attorney should be appointed.
– A letter of consent is not permissible in Turkey except for a few rare cases.
– If a rejection is based on likelihood of confusion in view of prior registrations, the earlier use argument cannot be accepted by the Institute, except for well-known trademarks.
– If a rejection is based on descriptive or generic nature, this may be overcome “may” be overcome if distinctive character, prior and frequent use of the trademark and international reputation are proved.
Although the grounds for rejection and correspondingly the response strategy may change depending on the nature of the application, it is important to file all arguments together with evidence during the response in full.
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