Mutlu Köse published an interesting article for Marques Class 46 which discusses the court practice in Turkey regarding cases of non-use of trademarks.
The dispute at hand concerns a lawsuit initiated by Bacardi against a local beverage producer for a trademark infringement of BREEZER mark owned by the company.
The Turkey company uses similar sign FREEZER and look-alike packaging.
As a response, KIRBIYIK FREEZER started revocation proceeding against Bacardi’s BREEZER mark for lack of genuine use in the country for a period of 5 years as it is stipulated by the law.
Bacardi had never used its trademark but the reason for this was the fact that the Turkish regulations do not allow the sale of cocktail beverages containing distilled alcohols.
According to the Court, however, this represented a valid reason for non-use of the registered mark (the onliest option for overcoming such revocation apart from actual use) and dismissed the Turkish company request. At the same time, the court accepted the claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition against KIRBIYIK FREEZER.