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Brands that are not possible to be registered

Brands that are not possible to be registered

It is not possible to register a trademark if it is deceptive because it is likely that it would cause confusion in the mind of the consumer if it is related to other registered trademarks, contains any object or word that is unethical, or design, object, shape or word that the brand contains contrary to the Law. However, although similar or identical trademarks may not be registered because they cause confusion in the minds and are deceptive, if the applicant is in good faith and does not intend to deceive the consumer or to exploit the reputation of other similar brands, when all other conditions are taken into account, a Court or the TRNC Registrar of Companies may allow the registration to come into effect. However, service brands cannot be registered. For example, it is not legally possible to register emblems of organizations in the service sector such as hotels, schools, banks, and insurance.

Duration of registration

The registration period of a trademark is 7 years. The registration period may be extended once every 7 years provided that the fees specified in the relevant statutes are paid. The registration must be renewed in the last 3 months before the deadline expires. Otherwise, as the renewal fee is higher, the trademark may be completely expired and deleted from the Registrar’s list of companies. However, the registration of the trademark registered in part A shall be valid for 7 years from the date of registration unless it is cancelled due to fraud or other breach conditions.

Registration procedure

In order to register trademarks, the applicant must apply in writing to the TRNC Registrar of Companies. The TRNC Registrar of Companies may accept or reject the registration, subject to certain conditions and / or subject to restrictions. In addition, TRNC Registrar of Companies may offer alternative routes, and instead of rejecting the application, it may register an application for Section A into section B upon consent from the applicant. In case of the refusal of the application, the Registrar is obliged to notify the applicant in writing stating the reasons for his decision upon the request of the applicant. If the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision of the Registrar, he/she may appeal the decision to the Court.

In cases where the application for trademark registration is subject to conditions or it is unconditional, or if it is accepted as subject to restrictions, the Registrar shall declare this admission and may object to the exclusion of any person's rights within the specified period from the announcement date. The person who intends to make an objection sends a notice to the Registrar and the Registrar will provide a certain period of time. During this period, the person must submit a declaration to the Registrar indicating the reasons for the appeal; otherwise the registration will take place. After the objection has been submitted, the Registrar will decide on the appeal after hearing the testimony from the parties. This decision can be appealed to the Court. If the objection is successful, the registration of the registered trademark becomes invalid.


In the case-law, it is stated that the appeal to the decisions of the Registrar concerning the registration of the trademark should be made to the Supreme Administrative Court as the decision is related to the Public Law. The TRNC Supreme Administrative Court cancelled a decision by the Registrar which registered the brand name "frappechino" by a local company despite the objection filed by the coffee company Starbucks, on the grounds that the name of ‘frappuccino’ has already been registered as a trademark by Starbucks company in many countries and caused confusion in the consumer's mind and therefore deemed the decision of the Registrar (to register the brand name "frappechino") invalid.

  • Gürkan&Gürkan
  • August 2019