The 9th annual meeting of the EU-Turkey IPR Working Group (IPR WG) was held on 28 January 2020 at the premises of Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Ankara.
The meeting was conducted with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Trade, General Directorate of Customs, Ministry of Interior, The General Directorate of Security on behalf of Turkey with the European Union Commission chaired by Andrau Pierre-Yves on behalf of the European Union. In the meeting, the actions of 2019 were evaluated in terms of intellectual and industrial rights.
React had attended the meeting as the leading sector representative on trademark rights industry. Besides React, ECTA, AIPPI, INTA and Brand Protection Group who are the sector representatives were invited to participate to the meeting as well. The first speech of the meeting was given to React, and it was expected to assess the year 2019 in the sense of trademark issue by React. Firstly, React gratefully acknowledged the Police Department for their hard work and the establishment of a separate department for intellectual property in addition this as the positive developments are the customs trainings carried out by the General Directorate of Customs in 2019 explained.
Then, we have mentioned the usual problems as stated below:
- The problem of obtaining a search warrant from the Criminal Courts of Peace were explained along with the concrete examples to the authorities of Ministry of Justice. We told them as well, despite the fact that the product was bought in exchange of a receipt from the workplaces which are selling counterfeit goods. In order to obtain a search warrant, an expert examination was required on the purchased product. Although we ask for a such warrant with the surveyor report, receipt and counterfeit product courts deny our requests. It is explained that it is almost impossible to make raid actions against production zones, warehouses and wholesalers that do not provide receipts or vouchers. For these reasons, it had been explained that we have started to have notary determinations along with presenting vouchers, products, and expert reports as evidence.
- It was explained that the Criminal Courts of Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights are being closed due to the decrease on the number of raid actions. In addition, it was stated that the judges who were trained in the field of intellectual and industrial intellectuals were recently appointed to other courts and that the newly arrived judges have not been trained on Intellectual and industrial rights.
- It is stated that the number of selling counterfeit products over the internet is increasing day by day and an addendum to the industrial property law or the law numbered 5651 which regulates internet crimes, has been proposed to block immediately of the access to such sites that sells counterfeit products.
- It was also explained that although we demanded the “rapid destruction” item added to the Industrial Property Law that was avoided to be used in practice. It is stated that the storage obligations of counterfeit goods will decrease if this article is used and applied more effectively. Especially for products with high storage costs, it is recommended that after prosecution or court has received the expert report, it is appropriate to decide the destruction of counterfeit goods without waiting for the conclusion of the case.
After the presentation made by us, we were asked a question by the European Commission and we were asked to confirm that we could not have decision of a search warrant even though we presented the receipt and the counterfeit product. After explaining the subject with examples, this time we were asked how a determination is made with a notary. After the statements we made, the chairman of the commission stated that this problem is important to obtain a search warrant and specified that the Ministry of Justice authorities will be discussed with to find a solution. As an idea, he remarked that training for judges who are authorized to issue a search warrant could be considered.
We hope that this meeting will have positive results.