Certification mark means a mark capable of distinguishing the goods or services in connection with which it is used in the course of trade which 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 from goods or services not so certified”. Therefore, the proprietor certifies trademark in respect of origin, material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics.
The certification mark certifies the characteristics of certain goods and services which applied for certification. The certification mark embodied on product or service rendered by proprietor. The presence of a certification mark on a product or service will give the consumer guidance. This can help the consumer in deciding whether to make a particular purchase or not. Nowadays, certification mark used by various merchants to indicate that their products and also services have certain characteristics. Example : specific level of product quality or also a certain geographic origin.
Application for Certification Mark
An application for a Certification mark can filed as a single or a multi-class application in the prescribed form with the Indian Trade Marks Registry. The form must have attachment of draft regulations governing the certification mark. The regulations must specify:
- Description of the Applicant;
- The nature of the Applicant’s business;
- Particulars of infrastructure like R&D, technical manpower support;
- Applicants’ competence to administer the certification scheme;
- Applicants’ financial arrangement;
- An undertaking from the Applicant that there will be no discrimination against any party if it meets the requirements set down in the regulations;
- The characteristics of the mark which indicates the certified goods or in relation to rendering of certified services;
- The manner of monitoring the use of the mark in India;
- The people authorized to use the certification mark
- The characteristics to be certified by the certification mark
- How the certifying or also standards tests these characteristics and supervises the use of the mark
- Dispute resolution procedures
- Such other relevant particulars as required by the Registrar.
In addition to the above, the applicant required to submit a statement of case, along with the application, setting out grounds on which it relies.
Some Indian certification marks listed below:
- ISI mark used for industrial products which certifies that the products conform to a set of standards laid by the Bureau of Indian Standards
- FPO mark used for processed fruit products in India which certify that the products were manufactured in a hygienic ‘food-safe’ environment.
- Agmark used on agricultural products to certify that they conform to a set of standards approved by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, an agency of the Government of India.
- The Non Polluting Vehicle mark used on motor vehicles to certify conformity to the Bharat Stage Emission standards.
- BIS Hallmark used to certify the purity of gold jewelry.
- The Indian Organic certification mark also used on organically farmed food products to certify that the products conform to the specifications of National Standards for Organic Products, 2000.
- Eco mark also used on for various products issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Registration of Certification Trademark
A certification mark application filed as a ordinary trade mark application filed with the registrar. Once the application filed, same proceedings will carried on as that of examination and registration of a trademark application. The Registrar, if satisfied, shall cause the application for registration of a Certification mark. The criteria for determining whether the certification mark registerable or not in India during examination cover similar grounds to those as other trademarks. A certification mark must capable of distinguishing the certified goods or services. But the question of distinctiveness may decided in a different way as the most important part for consideration. The important part also decides whether the certification mark is capable of distinguishing the certified goods or services from those not so certified. Rather than distinguishing the goods or services of one business from the similar goods or services of another business.