Turkish Patent Institute Announces Change to the Treatment of Black and White Trademarks

The project on the Scope of Protection of Black and White Trademarks, executed by the working group which had been formed within the framework of the Harmonization Program for Intellectual Property Offices of the countries member to the European Union and of which Turkish Patent Institute has been a member, has been finalized and a common practice has been agreed on.

The practice changing the treatment of black and white trademarks in reviewing the similarity between the trademarks in terms of use, priority and absolute/relative grounds for refusal entered into force in Turkey as of 15.07.2014.   

With the endorsement of the new common practice, two trademarks containing the same word or figurative elements will not be considered identical, if there is a significant difference in terms of their colors. In this regard, whether a trademark registered as black and white and/or in grayscale will be considered identical to the mark including the same word or device element, but in color, will be concluded based on whether the difference between the colors of the same are insignificant or not and the scope of protection for the related trademark will be determined accordingly.

An "insignificant difference" has been defined as: "a difference that a reasonably observant consumer will perceive only upon side by side examination of the marks."