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Trademark Protection Costs in Turkey: Where the East Meets the West

Published on 5 October 2018

With a strategic location at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, the Middle Eastern country of Turkey occupies a position of paramount significance on the global map. As the only city in the world that straddles two continents, the Turkish city of Istanbul is a vital gateway to the continents of Europe and Asia, thereby being worth its weight in gold for tactical reasons. In this article, we shall discuss and analyze the costs of brand protection (i.e. trademark protection costs) in Turkey.

The Turkish Economy: Punching Above Its Weight

With a size that is about the same as the U.S. state of Texas, the Turkish economy is currently roaring and is among the fastest growing economies in the world; the country's growth is the fastest among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the second fastest among the Group of Twenty member countries.

With enviable and eye-catching growth rates of 11.3% and 7.3% in the third and fourth quarters of 2017, respectively, followed by a further robust growth of 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, the Turkish economy is firing on all cylinders and seems to be in the middle of a small purple patch. If this purple patch is sustained, it could ignite the economy and catapult it to new zeniths in the longer run.

Trademark Legislation in Turkey

Trademark filing and registration in Turkey is governed by the Industrial Property Code, which came into force on January 1, 2017, thereby replacing the separate legislations on the protection of Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, and Geographical Indications. With the implementation of the new Code, the Turkish Patent Institute was rechristened the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office.

The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, headquartered in the capital city of Ankara, is the statutory body that oversees the administration of the Industrial Property Code.

Trademark System in Turkey

Despite its presence its Europe, a European Union Trade Mark registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office is not valid in Turkey since the nation is not a member of the European Union.

Likewise, Turkey is also not a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which, in turn, means that the unifying GCC Trademark Law is also not applicable to Turkey.

Therefore, trademark protection in Turkey can only be obtained through a trademark application filed in Turkey. The application may be filed directly in Turkey or through the relevant WIPO-administered treaties: the Paris Convention or the Madrid Protocol.

Trademark Filings in Turkey

As per the statistics published by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, the number of trademark applications filed in Turkey has mushroomed over the past 23 years. The number of trademark applications filed in 2016, which stood at about 105,000, was about six-folds greater than the number of trademark applications filed in 1995, which stood at about 16,000.

Since 2011, Turkey has led European countries in terms of trademark filings, having received more than 100,000 trademark applications every year. This year, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office also is on track to receive more than 100,000 trademark applications, with about 52,000 trademark filings in the first five months of 2018.

How Much Does Trademark Protection Cost in Turkey?

Let us now discuss the costs involved in filing a trademark application in Turkey and, subsequently, getting it registered. Typically, there are three categories of costs involved: official fees, attorney charges, and translation costs.

The costs are generally dependent on the number of classes of goods and services under which the trademark application is filed. The current version of the 'International Classification of Goods and Services' (Nice Agreement Eleventh Edition – Version 2018) contains 34 classes for goods and 11 classes for services.

A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the application date and is renewable for successive ten-year periods. Though it is possible to file multi-class trademark applications, the filing fee for trademark registration in a second class and each additional class beyond the second class is the same as that for filing in one class.

Let us consider a trademark application that is to be filed electronically under four classes. We shall further consider that the there is no priority claim and that the services are described on a single page, which requires translation. For instance, the applicant could be a travel organizer wishing to register under Class 36 (Insurance and Foreign Currency Exchange Services), Class 39 (Travel Arrangements), Class 41 (Education), and Class 43 (Services for Providing Food, Drink, and Temporary Accommodation).

The estimated costs of trademark protection under four classes in Turkey, from filing through registration, add up to approximately $2,050 (Table 1). The costs are inclusive of Value Added Tax, which has been added to the attorney charges and translation costs.

Trademark Filing Fees, Trademark Registration Fees, and 'Go Green' Incentives

The trademark filing and registration costs are inclusive of the substantial discount (about 33%) offered by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office for 'Going Green' (i.e. filing the trademark application electronically and paying the registration fees electronically). For the above scenario, the official trademark fees for filing the trademark application electronically in the above-mentioned four classes are approximately $208.

Further, the trademark filing costs are also inclusive of the costs of translating the description of services into Turkish, the attorney charges for filing in an additional class beyond three classes, and the attorney charges for filing a Power of Authority.

The official trademark registration fees are approximately $143.

Trademark Renewal Fees in Turkey

As stated above, a trademark registration in Turkey is valid for 10 years from the application date and is renewable for successive ten-year periods. The official fees for renewing a trademark registration electronically are approximately $180.

Trademark Cost Calculator

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Venkatesh Viswanath (Senior Content Strategist, Quantify IP) contributed to this article.
Note: The estimates and fees depicted in this article are based on the Official Fee Schedule as on July 5, 2018
Exchange Rate Used: 1 U.S. Dollar = 4.62 Turkish New Lira

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