How to Apply for a Certified Trade Mark in Australia
A certification trade mark is an intellectual property right. It certifies that the holder of the relevant trade mark has satisfied a set of official requirements, such as Australian Grown.
For example, common standards connected with a certification mark include:
- manufacturing technique; and
- manufacturing origin.
A certification trade mark is a protected intellectual property right. It certifies that the owner of the mark has satisfied a set of requirements. For instance, it is a sort of trade mark that is used (or intended to be used) to differentiate products or services that have been certified as having a certain quality or feature from goods or services that have not been certified. A certification mark is a type of trade mark that gives the owner a number of exclusive rights in respect to the mark. However, there are several key distinctions between them and ordinary trade marks. This article explains.
What Is the Definition of a Certified Trade Mark?
A certification trade mark informs customers that a product or service complies with a set of criteria. A certification trade mark could, for example, signify that a product is:
- of a certain quality, having been created in a certain area or by a specific procedure;
- prepared from specific materials or components; and
- appropriate for a specific job.
Before you can register certification trade marks under the Trade Marks Act 1995, you must first receive permission from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The application procedure for a certification mark is fairly similar to the regular trade mark application process. However, applicants for a certification mark must additionally file a copy of the Certification Rules, that apply to the licence of the certificate mark, to third parties with IP Australia. The Certification Rules are the requirements that applicants must meet before being given permission to use a certification mark. The Certification Rules are public papers that you can find on the IP Australia website for free.
Certification Trade Mark Process
Businesses who want to register a certification trade mark must first apply to IP Australia’s Registrar of Trade Marks. They must also offer a set of guidelines on how to utilise the certification trade mark, along with their application. Businesses must submit these with the application or as soon as feasible afterwards to the Registrar. Next, the Registrar evaluates certification trade mark applications against general trade mark regulations. Then if an application meets these criteria, the registrant submits it to the ACCC for review, along with the certification trade mark rules that the ACCC administers.
For instance, when the Registrar of Trade Marks sends you the certification trade mark regulations, it includes the following process:
- the ACCC issues an initial assessment to certification trade mark owners, stating its preliminary opinion on whether they meet the Trade Marks Act‘s test;
- the Registrar publishes the initial assessment in the Official Journal of Trade Marks; and
- the certification trade mark owner or any other person who objects to the initial assessment has one month to file a written submission with the ACCC. Or, one month to request the Registrar to reconsider the initial assessment.
How Certification Trade Marks Are Evaluated
The ACCC’s responsibilities include evaluating and approving guidelines for the use of certification trade marks, including:
- evaluating the standards that items, services, and people must fulfil to be eligible for a certification trade mark, as well as the planned procedure for judging compliance with certification requirements
- reviewing the regulations to ensure that they do not harm the general public and that they do not raise any issues about competition, unconscionable conduct, product safety, or product information.
Fill out our checklist to ensure that your certification trade mark regulations meet all of the Trade Marks Act‘s criteria, as determined by the ACCC.
Before deciding to apply for a certified trade mark in Australia, you should consider:
- how certification trade marks are evaluated for registration;
- what the certification trade mark process is; and
- what a certification trade mark is.
Certification marks can help people trust your products and services. Further, consumers may rely on the marks to give assurances about the quality of your items. However, owing to the administrative overhead in the registration procedure, establishing a certification mark can take a long time and cost money. This is because the ACCC must authorise the certification regulations. As a result, you should think about whether getting a certification mark is beneficial. If you have any questions about applying for a certified trade mark, contact our trade mark lawyers on 1300 657 423 or fill out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
A certification trade mark informs customers that a product or service complies with a set of criteria (i.e. it is from a certain area).
The ACCC’s responsibilities include evaluating and approving guidelines for the use of certification trade marks.