Industrial Property Law No. 6769 (referred to as “IP Law”) which went into effect in 2017 brought along differences to signs that can be registered as trademarks. The “graphical representation” requirement sought by Article 5 of the Decree Law No. 556 was replaced by “representation on the register” by Article 4 of IP Law. This amendment has given way to registration of multimedia marks.
Multimedia mark is a type of non-conventional trademarks, which can be defined as a trademark that is a combination of motion and sound. Trademark Examination Guideline published by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (referred to as “TURKPATENT”) in 2019 makes explicit reference to multimedia marks by stating that motion marks do not include sound, sound marks do not include motion, and if a mark includes both motion and sound, it is evaluated as a multimedia mark.
Within this framework, Netflix filed applications with the TÜRKPATENT in December 2020 for two versions of its animated ident logo, which is used at the beginning of its films and series (App. Nos. 2020/160674 and 2020/160677). Netflix’s marks were registered on 02 August 2021 and 4 April 2022, respectively, and its animated ident logo is the first multimedia mark to be registered in Turkey.
This innovative approach of the TÜRKPATENT towards non-conventional trademarks is expected to encourage entities to file new multimedia marks. It should nevertheless be kept in mind that multimedia marks, as other types of trademarks, should meet the basic requirement of being clear and precise and distinguishing the goods and/or services of one undertaking from those of another to be allowed for registration.