Protection of IP rights
On August 8 2017 the Regulation on Duty-Free Stores – issued by the Ministry of Customs and Trade – was published in the Official Gazette. The regulation will enter into force on September 7 2017 and sets out requirements regarding:
- the establishment and operation of duty-free stores;
- how goods enter and exit warehouses; and
- record-keeping obligations for duty-free store operators.
Article 32 of the regulation states that all: "relevant intellectual and industrial property laws shall apply in case the sale of goods in... [duty-free] stores infringes IP rights".
In this context, the legal and penal penalties regarding the infringement of industrial property and IP rights under the new IP Code and other IP legislation will apply directly.(1)
This clarity removes any doubt for the courts and solidifies the legal grounds for the application of civil and criminal remedies, including judicial fines and imprisonment, to the operators of duty-free shops.
This matter was previously discussed in a 1999 Supreme Court decision concerning the Bahman cigarette brand, wherein the court had ruled that no trademark infringement would exist regarding goods in free trade zones unless there were attempts to import such goods into Turkey.(2) The Supreme Court changed this approach in 2004 in Marlboro,(3) by stating that industrial property and IP rights can be enforced in free trade zones, as the entities operating in such areas do not benefit from any privilege.
The new regulation acknowledges Supreme Court case law in favour of IP right holders from a legislative perspective.
For further information on this topic please contact Okan Can or Burak Keskin at Deris IP Attorneys by telephone (+90 212 252 6122) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Deris IP Attorneys website can be accessed at www.deris.com.tr.
(1) Penal penalties are applicable for trademark and copyright infringements.
(2) 11 HD September 23 1999 1999/4928-1999/7026.