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This article applies to selling in: Turkey

Amazon Intellectual Property Policy

Amazon is dedicated to providing customers with the widest selection of goods on Earth and creating an amazing customer experience. Amazon does not allow listings that violate the intellectual property rights of brands or other rights owners.

This page provides information about intellectual property (IP) rights and common IP concerns that might arise when selling on Amazon. This is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer if you have a specific question about your IP rights or the IP rights of others.

Copyright


  1. What is a copyright?

    A copyright protects original works of authorship, such as videos, movies, songs, books, musicals, video games, paintings, technology-based works (such as computer programs), etc. Generally, copyright law is meant to incentivize the creation of original works of authorship for the benefit of the public. To receive copyright protection, a work of authorship must be created by an author, and must have some amount of creativity. If you are the author of an original work, then you typically own the copyright in that work.

    Protection usually arises at the moment of creation of a work, without a need for a registration, certification or other formal act.

    Turkish copyright law prohibits the unauthorized copying and use of original works as well as the unauthorized import of products from outside of Turkey.

  2. How do I know if I own the copyright for one or more of the images I am using on the product detail page?

    A person who authors an original work usually owns the copyright for that work. If you take a photo of your product, you generally have copyright protection in the photo you took, and you can use that photo on your product product detail page to sell that product. However, if you find a photo on someone else’s website, you should not upload that photo to a product product detail page without the other person’s permission.

    Example: The owner of the Pinzon brand took the photos of the sheets shown below and owns the copyright in the images of the sheets. If a seller were to copy these images to sell their product on another product detail page, that seller could be violating the rights owner’s copyright in the images of the sheets.


    Note: When you add your copyrighted image to a product product detail page, you grant Amazon and its affiliates a license to use the material. Other sellers can list their items for sale on pages to which you have added your copyrighted images, even if you no longer sell that product. To ensure that you are not violating someone’s copyrights, make sure to upload only images or text that you have created yourself or for which you have the copyright holder’s permission to upload.

    Refer to the Directorate General for Copyright / WIPO / websites for more information about copyright basics and FAQs.

  3. How do I know if I own the copyright for the product I am selling?

    It is important to make sure that the goods you are selling do not violate a copyright or you could lose your selling privileges and face potential legal consequences.

    You might be able to sell someone else’s copyrighted work on Amazon if you have received permission from the copyright owner or if your use is protected by the so-called exhaustion principle. The exhaustion principle generally permits the resale of a genuine, lawfully purchased physical item (such as a book or CD) without permission from the copyright owner. But in Turkey, the principle only applies if the concrete product (item) in question was first sold or distributed previously in Turkey by the copyright owner's use of its distribution rights.

    However, you should also keep in mind that, even if you make use of the exhaustion principle mentioned above, banderole requirements will still apply for (i) non-periodical publications (eg., books), (ii) cinematographic and musical works (eg., music CDs, DVDs, VCDs, and Blu-ray DVDs), and (iii) computer games, computer programs and databases. Under Turkish laws reproducing an intellectual or artistic work that is in breach of the banderole requirements or lacks a banderole, in order to sell, offer for sale, or distribute such work, and anyone who buys or receives such work for commercial purposes, might be subject to certain sanctions (eg., imprisonment and judiciary monetory fine). Therefore, you should always make sure that the products mentioned above are sold with banderoles on them. Otherwise, you may be subject to sanctions due to not complying with the banderole requirment.

    Example: If you decide to sell a copy of an author's book on Amazon, you are selling someone else’s copyrighted work. If you bought the book from the publisher in Turkey or from an authorized distributor of the publisher in Turkey, you are usually protected by the exhaustion principle. But if you bought the book outside Turkey, you are probably infringing copyright by reselling it in Turkey.

  4. Can industrial designs receive protection?

    Industrial designs are protected under Turkish laws, provided that they are new and distinguishable. So be aware that any product design may also be protected and therefore may not be copied freely.

    Copyright and Design Right protection can coexist.

Trademark


  1. What is a trademark?

    A trademark is a word, symbol or design, or a combination of same (such as a brand name or logo) that a company uses to identify its goods or services and to distinguish them from other companies’ goods and services. Put another way, a trademark indicates the source of goods or services. Generally, trademark laws exist to prevent customer confusion about the source of goods or services.

    Example: “Amazon” is a trademark we use for many of our goods and services. Other Amazon trademarks contain both pictures and words, such as the “Available at Amazon” trademark.


    A trademark owner usually protects a trademark by registering it with a country-specific trademark office (e.g., The Turkish Patent and Trademark Institution (TURKPATENT) in Turkey. In Turkey, trademark protection is obtained through registration. Trademark protection is territorial in nature, i.e., the geographic scope of protection for trademarks is limited and depends on the place of registration: national trademarks do not protent the trademark owner outside of Turkey.

  2. What do trademarks protect?

    Generally, trademark law protects sellers of goods and services from the misappropriation of their trademarks by unauthorized third parties, in particular where there is potential customer confusion about who provides, endorses, or is affiliated with such particular goods or services.

    A trademark owner may stop others from using a particular mark (a) for goods or services which are identical to those for which the owner has registered his mark; (b) for goods or services that are similar to that of the registered mark if it is likely that customers could be confused (even if the mark used is not identical but only similar); or (c) if the owner’s mark has reputation in Turkey and where use of that same or a similar mark without due cause takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the owner’s mark.

  3. What types of trademarks are displayed on Amazon?

    Trademarks are often displayed on Amazon’s product detail pages in the form of product and brand names listed on a product detail page. For example, the trademark “Pinzon” appears in the brand name or “byline” portion of the product product detail page shown below. The “Pinzon” trademark also appears in the product name portion of the product detail page (“Pinzon Flannel Sheet Set – King, Sage”).


    The Turkish Patent and Trademark Institute offers resources to learn more about trademarks.

  4. Do I always need the rights owner’s permission to use a trademark?

    Just because you are not the owner of a trademark does not necessarily mean that you cannot sell the rights owner’s product. If the product is genuine, and not a parallel import, you can use the trademark to market that specific product.

    Example: If you are selling a genuine Pinzon sheet set and you are advertising the product as a Pinzon sheet set, you are not infringing on the Pinzon trademark.

    However, note that the rights owner can prohibit the use of the mark if there exist legitimate reasons to oppose further commercialization of the goods, especially where the condition of the goods is changed or impaired after they have been put on the market.

    Most other unauthorized uses of a trademark constitute an infringement; if you are unsure whether your use violates someone else’s trademark, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.

  5. As a seller, when can I use someone else’s trademark?

    Typically, a seller can use someone else’s trademark in the following circumstances:

    1. When selling authentic goods, a seller may use a trademarked name to list those authentic goods. For example, a seller who lists an authentic “Pinzon” product is not necessarily infringing on the owner of the Pinzon trademark because the seller is using the trademark to identify an authentic product.
    2. When using a trademarked word in its ordinary dictionary meaning.
    3. When making truthful statements that a product is compatible with a trademarked product. For example, if you offer a cable that is compatible with the Kindle e-reader, you can use the brand name “Kindle” to indicate that compatibility in the text of your product detail page. You cannot use a logo to indicate compatibility, only the brand name. Any statement you make about compatibility must be true, and relevant for the customer’s purchase decision (for example, if your product is actually compatible with all competitor products, it is not permissible to use the brands of these products, as the customer is not at risk of buying the “wrong” product without the compatibility statement).

      “Similar to” claims (such as stating that goods are “similar to Kindle” or “equivalent to Find”) may infringe trademark law, depending on the marketplace and circumstances. Seek legal counsel before making such comparisons.

    If you want to indicate the compatibility of your product with a product of a different brand in the product title, please build your product title as follows, taking also account of Amazon Brand Name Policy. If you do not apply this format to your product title, your listing may be removed as potentially trademark infringing.

    Title format for branded compatible products

    [Your Product’s Brand Name] + [Product Name] + "for"/”compatible with”/”fits”/”intended for” + [Brand of Main Product] + [Main Product Name] + (other product title elements, if applicable)

    Examples:

    • Xandu USB charging cable, compatible with AmazonBasics speaker
    • TonTon Sleeve intended for Kindle Fire

    Title format for generic compatible products

    "Generic" + [Product Name] + "for"/”compatible with”/”fits”/”intended for” + [Brand of Main Product] + [Main Product Name] + (other product title elements, if applicable)

    Example:

    Generic Replacement filter for AmazonBasics Waterfilter A3

  6. How can I make sure that I am not violating trademark law when selling on Amazon?

    It is important to make sure that the goods you are selling, and the content of your listings, do not violate a trademark or you could lose your selling privileges and face potential legal consequences. When you decide to sell goods on Amazon, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Are the goods I am selling from a reputable distributor?
    2. How did I acquire these goods, and will I be able to prove they are authentic if the question arises?
    3. Will the way I am describing these goods cause customer confusion (for example, would something about your product detail page for the generic sheet set cause customers to believe they are purchasing a Pinzon sheet set)?
    4. Did I use a brand name or trademark in a non-confusing and truthful manner to describe compatibility (generally allowed) instead of similarity (not allowed)?

    Listing title Brand Status of listing
    AmazonBasics Speaker (blank) Inactive listing due to incorrect Brand field. Because the Brand attribute is blank (not “AmazonBasics”), the listing title cannot imply that the product is an AmazonBasics product.
    AmazonBasics Speaker AmazonBasics Active listing, with correct Brand field use and acceptable title.
    Six foot USB charging cable, compatible with AmazonBasics speaker (blank) Active listing, with acceptable title and Brand field use, IF the charging cable is only compatible with AmazonBasics speakers and not also with all other electronic devices (if the cable is compatible with several brands but not all, it is acceptable to use the most important brand in the product title and list the others in the bullet points). Title indicates compatibility without implying that this is an AmazonBasics branded product; Brand field may be blank for generic product.
    Wireless Speakers with six foot USB charging cable, compatible with AmazonBasics speaker Wireless Speakers Inc. Active listing, with correct Brand Field use and acceptable title, IF the charging cable is only compatible with AmazonBasics speakers and not also with all other electronic devices (if the cable is compatible with several brands but not all, it is acceptable to use the most important brand in the product title and list the others in the bullet points).

    If you are not sure, you should consult a lawyer.

  7. What is Counterfeiting?

    Counterfeiting is a specific type of trademark infringement. A counterfeit is an unlawful reproduction of a registered trademark, or a mark that is very similar to a registered trademark, on a product or packaging.

    A look-alike item sold on a separate product product detail page without the improper use of a registered trademark is not a counterfeit, even though the item might look similar or identical to the trademarked product. However, lookalike products may infringe upon other intellectual property design rights, or constitute (in some countries) unfair competition/passing off.

Patent


  1. What is a patent?

    A patent is a form of legal protection for inventions. An issued patent grants its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing the invention into the country which granted patent protection for a fixed number of years.

  2. Are there different types of patents?

    Not in Turkey. Other countries distinguish different patent types, though. For instance, in the United States there are two principal types of patents: Utility patents and Design patents.

  3. What is the difference between a patent, trademark, and a copyright?

    A patent is different from a trademark in that it protects an invention (such as a new machine) rather than a word or logo used to identify the source of the product (such as the brand name of the product). A patent is different from a copyright in that it does not protect the expressive content of a creative work like a book or a picture, but protects a specific invention, such as a new method of printing books or a new type of camera.

    The Turkish Patent and Trademark Institute offers resources to learn more about trademarks.

  4. How can I make sure that I do not violate someone’s patent when selling on Amazon?

    The manufacturer or authorized distributor of a product might be able to assist you with patent-related issues. If you are unsure whether your content or product violates someone else’s patent, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.

Parallel imports


  1. What is a parallel import?

    Intellectual property rights owners (in particular trademark owners, copyright holders and their licensees) may prohibit you from importing or selling their goods, if you sourced them outside Turkey.

    However, under Turkish laws [Article 152(1) of the Law on Industrial Property Rights], commercial acts relating to a product bearing a registered trademark do not constitute trademark infringement if these acts occurred after the product was released into market by the owner or with the owner's consent, due to trademark rights being exhausted with the release. Therefore, under Turkish law, if a product is released into the market in a country, be it Turkey or any other country in the world (i.e. first sale), trademark rights over that product are deemed to be exhausted. Please note that the law provides that holders of trademark rights are entitled to stop the commercial use of products that have been altered or deteriorated by third parties, even if trademark rights over those products have already been exhausted as per the first paragraph of the same provision. Therefore, it is possible for trademark owners to prohibit import or sale of their goods, in case the products are altered or deteriorated.

  2. How can I make sure that I do not sell (illegal) parallel import goods?

    Make sure only to sell products on Amazon’s marketplaces which you have either imported yourself with the rights owner’s consent, or which you have sourced – directly or indirectly – from a supplier who has been authorized by the rights owner to import the products into Turkey (e.g. a subsidiary of the rights owner or an authorized distributor). Note that if the rights owner challenges your sales of non-Turkish products, you will have to prove that these were imported into Turkey with the rights owner’s consent. So make sure to keep the invoices, authorization letters etc. for these products.

Utility models


  1. What is a utility model?

    A utility model is another form of legal protection for inventions, but for so-called “minor inventions.” The registration system is similar to the patent system.

  2. What is the difference between a utility model and a patent?

    In its basic definition, a utility model is very similar to a patent, except that the requirements for acquiring a utility model are less stringent than for patents (quicker registration without the examination of novelty, inventive steps and industrial applicability).

  3. How can I make sure that I do not violate someone’s utility model when selling on Amazon?

    The manufacturer or authorized distributor of a product might be able to assist you with utility model-related issues. If you are unsure whether your content or product violates someone else’s utility model, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.

    Refer to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Institute's website for more information about utility models.

Designs


  1. What is a design?

    A design is a form of legal protection for the appearance of the entire product or a part of it which results, in particular, from the characteristics of line, contours, colors, form, surface structure and/or materials of the product and/or its decoration. Any industrial or handicraft item including packaging, graphic symbols and typefaces qualify as a product. Parts of products that can be taken apart and reassembled can also be protected.

    Design is territorial: a design owner usually protects a design by registering it with a country-specific office (e.g. Turkish Patent and Trademark Institute in Turkey).

    According to Turkish law, a design can be registered, but unregistered designs are also protected to some extent. Unregistered design rights are acquired automatically and with no need for formalities. The unregistered design right is more limited in scope as well as duration (3 years) than the registered design right.

  2. How can I make sure that I do not violate someone’s design when selling on Amazon?

    The manufacturer or authorized distributor of a product might be able to assist you with design related issues. If you are unsure whether your content or product violates someone else’s design, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon. The Turkish Patent and Trademark Institute offers resources to learn more about designs.

What to do if your account receives a warning or suspension


  1. What happens when I receive a warning that my listing is being removed due to a report of intellectual property rights infringement? What if I own the rights to the intellectual property?

    If you receive a warning for infringement, you will have several options to appeal or dispute the claim:

    1. If you receive a warning for a product you never listed on Amazon, reply to the notification you received and let us know that you have never listed the reported product. We will investigate to determine if an error occurred.
    2. If you have an established relationship with the rights owner who submitted the complaint (license, manufacturing or distribution agreement, etc.), we encourage you to reach out to the rights owner and request that the complaint be retracted. If we receive a retraction from the rights owner, your content may be reinstated. The rights owner’s contact information is provided in the warning you received.
    3. If you believe that a rights owner, or Amazon, made an error when removing your product listing, reply to the notification you received and provide specific reasons as to why you believe a mistake was made. Provide any invoice or Order ID that demonstrates the authenticity of the product, where appropriate. We will then re-evaluate the notice and your content may be reinstated.

  2. What do I do if I have received multiple warnings of intellectual property infringement?

    If you have received multiple warnings of intellectual property infringement and you believe you are selling authentic products, appeal via your Seller Central account with the following information:

    A list of the allegedly infringing ASINs and at least one of the following:

    1. Invoices proving the authenticity of your products; or
    2. Order IDs demonstrating product authenticity; or
    3. An authorization letter from the rights owner (that is not a forwarded email)

  3. What do I do if my account has been suspended?

    If your account has been suspended as a result of rights owners submitting notices of intellectual property infringement against your products or content, you can provide us with a viable Plan of Action that includes the following information:


    1. The reasons why you were selling allegedly infringing products or uploaded allegedly infringing content, or both
    2. The steps you have taken to ensure that you are no longer infringing;
    3. How you will avoid infringement in the future; and
    4. Any other pertinent information

    You should send your Plan of Action via your account dashboard or reply to the account suspension notification that you received. We will evaluate your Plan of Action and determine if your account may be reinstated. Note that Amazon terminates the accounts of repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances.

  4. What if I didn’t know I was violating someone’s intellectual property?

    Sellers are expected to follow the law and Amazon’s policies. Amazon takes claims of intellectual property infringement seriously. Even if a seller is infringing on someone’s intellectual property without knowledge, we will still take action and the seller’s account might receive a warning or be suspended. You should consult an attorney for help to ensure that your business has the right procedures in place to prevent IP infringement.

  5. What do I do if I receive a notice for parallel import?

    If your products have been imported into Turkey with the rights owner’s consent, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the rights owner to address the complaint directly and obtain a retraction. Only if the rights owner is unresponsive, you may appeal to us, by providing us with evidence that the specific products you sold were imported into Turkey with the rights owner’s permission. Invoices showing that you sourced from an authorized distributor of the rights owner may be one type of such evidence.

Geographical Indication

1. What is a geographical indication?

A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.

2. What rights does a geographical indication provide?

A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. For example, in the jurisdictions in which the Darjeeling geographical indication is protected, producers of Darjeeling tea can exclude use of the term “Darjeeling” for tea not grown in their tea gardens or not produced according to the standards set out in the code of practice for the geographical indication.

However, a protected geographical indication does not enable the holder to prevent someone from making a product using the same techniques as those set out in the standards for that indication. Protection for a geographical indication is usually obtained by acquiring a right over the sign that constitutes the indication.

Refer to the WIPO website for more information about geographical indications.

3. Who can use a protected geographical indication?

The right to use a protected geographical indication belongs to producers in the geographical area defined, who comply with the specific conditions of production for the product.

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