Domain names and thus the websites are essentially becoming a constantly
developing field of intellectual property protection and enforcement,
particularly against infringements of trademarks, and even of designs and
copyright, due to global e-commerce growing vastly over the last decade.
Unlike trademarks and designs, where there is exclusive legislation on how to
register and protect them in a national or regional territory, domain names can
be registered and websites providing no-stop service for companies in marketing
and sales activities can become active even in global scale within minutes, with
no review or approval.
Turkey has strict policy in place against bad faith attempts, particularly on
second level domain names, including .com.tr, .biz.tr, and .info.tr, dedicated
to commercial activities of real and legal persons. This can be achieved thanks
to requirements for official documents indicating an application for trademark
registration, a commercial activity document, ie, from the chamber of commerce,
and/or an identity document during the domain name filing stage. Besides, a
strict dispute resolution mechanism exists based on objections filed by
interesting parties within a six-month of opposition period upon the grant of a
conflicting domain name.
As a final option, such domain names can also be invalidated through a legal
action before the specialised IP court. But the burden of proof rests with the
plaintiff and the case may need to be supported evidentially with other IP
rights, ie, copyright, trademarks and designs.
Registering A Domain Name of “.TR” Extension
In order to acquire a domain name of “.tr” extension in Turkey by a foreign firm
having no registered business in Turkey, it is required to prove a proof of
business connection to Turkey by commercial activity or to have a trademark
application or registration in Turkey.
If it is intended to secure domain name of “.tr” extension, a foreign firm
should submit company registration certificate issued by foreign chamber of
office and any documentations to prove the active use of the domain name in
Turkey or the existence of substantive preparations and efforts to use it in
Turkey, e.g. invoices, distribution agreement, franchising agreements etc.
It is the easiest way for the foreign firms to secure domain name registration
of “.tr” extension in Turkey by enjoying a trademark application or registration,
and most advisable therefore. The only document required in this case is a copy
of trademark filing or registration (or renewal) certificate.
A domain name requested based on a pending trademark application is
provisionally granted till the registration process and published for third
party opposition for a six months. In course of the publication period, if any
opposition is raised and accepted by the Board of Examination, or the trademark
application is refused in the meantime, or the registration is not notified to
the “.tr” Domain Name Administration if the trademark application is registered,
the provisionally granted domain name is discontinued. However, if the domain
name is actively used for 2 years and if no opposition of rightful base is filed,
the domain name is registered in the name of the applicant without regarding the
trademark application being registered or not.
As a rule, the domain name should be exactly same as the terms making the
registered trademark. To give an example: if the trademark is "ABCD", the domain
name should be registered as www.abcd.com.tr without any addition. If the domain
name is requested to be registered with additional terms to the trademark, these
additional term(s) are expected to be within the list of the goods/services.
Otherwise, the registrability of the trademark with additional terms as domain
name is only at discretion of the examiners.