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Trademark Invalidation

For a possible legal action for the cancellation of a trademark registration in Turkey, the alternatives that can be considered in general are: 
(1) non-use attack,
(2) prior use attack or 
(3) bad faith attack. 

Time limit to file a cancellation action against a registered trademark is 5 years as from the registration of a trademark (except for non-use issues). However, if the cancellation action against a trademark registered in bad faith is related to a well-known trademark, the time limit is not applied, genuine holder of the well-known trademark can file cancellation action anytime.

A registered trademark should be used in Turkey within 5 years from the registration date to avoid any trademark cancellation action based on “non-use” that may be initiated by other parties before the Court (not before the Office). The same is also valid where the use of the trademark is discontinued for an interrupted period of five years thereafter. The burden of the proof belongs to the applicant. Therefore, there is no need for extensive work on evidences but it is recommended to provide Court outcome of a trademark in use search in Turkey (indicating non-use of the trademark in question in target classes). 

With regard to bad faith attack, it should be well supported with strong evidences indicating earlier business relation between the actual right holder and the other party (or well-known status of the trademark in Turkey). 

The said evidences could be in form of a distributor agreement, contractual agreement, invoices regarding sales, export records, “all” correspondences that prove the business contracts and mutual business activity between the parties, incoming (purchase order) letters to the client; for all those with original signatures being preferred and e-mails are not much respected before the court. 

As for the WELL-KNOWN status, the provisions of article 6bis of the Paris Convention would apply to an administrative proceeding in the Turkish Patent Institute. Therefore, so called “fame documents” are required in that sense. 

Please see “legal environment” directory for court actions, time scales and further details.

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