Turkish language school to pay compensation to Harvard over name
Dinçer Gökçe – ISTANBUL
A man in the southern province of Antalya, Halil Çil, has been granting language and private school franchises under the name of “Harvard.”
Officials at Harvard University had filed a lawsuit requesting a total of 300,000 Turkish Liras (approximately $56,845) in compensation from the man.
“Harvard is patented by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. The defendant has been giving franchises by using the name Harvard. They do not have a trademark registration or any permission given from us. They receive ill-gotten income,” a petition filed by the lawyers on behalf of Harvard University said.
In his defense, Çil said there is no wrong use and the monopolistic use of the name “Harvard” should be discussed as part of the trademark law.
“Harvard is the name of a region in [the northeastern U.S. state of] Massachusetts. We are using the Harvard name within the scope of a license an English company has. The case should be dismissed,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Education Ministry said private education establishments cannot be named in any language other than Turkish.
The ministry also stressed that an establishment named “Harvard” cannot have obtained a license from the ministry and that using such a name is of a deceptive nature.
The court ordered the company to pay Harvard University 20,000 Turkish Liras in pecuniary and 53,000 Turkish Liras in non-pecuniary damages, while also prohibiting the use of the name “Harvard.”
Moreover, the court also ruled an access ban to websites using Harvard’s name and the collection of all products published with the said name.