A certification mark is a mark indicating that the goods or services in connection with which it is to be used are certified, by the proprietor of the mark in respect of origin, material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics.
Examples of certification trade marks
The Second Schedule of the Trade Marks Act 1996 has provisions which allow for the registration of certification marks.
A certification mark can only be registered in the name of the proprietors if they themselves do not produce or provide the goods or services to which the mark is applied.
In general, associations make applications for certification trade marks. However any person or organisation that will authorise traders to use it in relation to certain goods or services and who certifies that those goods or services possess certain characteristics can make an application.
An application for a certification trade mark must meet the basic criteria set out in section 6 of the Trade Marks Act 1996. In other words it must be capable of being represented graphically and must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services that are certified from those which are not certified.
A certification trade mark may be registered if it consists of a sign or indication, which may serve, in trade, to designate the geographical origin of the goods or services.
An applicant for a certification trade mark must also supply a copy of the regulations governing the use of the mark within six months of the date of authorisation to proceed and pay the prescribed fee (€125).
These regulations must show:
- who is authorised to use the mark
- the characteristics to be certified by the mark
- how the certifying body is to test those characteristics
- and to supervise the use of the mark
- the fees to be paid in connection with the operation of the mark
- the procedures for resolving disputes
A certification mark shall not be registered if the proprietor carries on a business involving the supply of goods or services of the kind certified.