World Intellectual Property Organization

Certification Marks

A number of countries also provide for the protection of certification marks. Certification marks are usually given for compliance with defined standards, but are not confined to any membership. They may be used by anyone who can certify that the products involved meet certain established standards. Famous certification marks include WOOLMARK which certifies that the goods on which it is used are made of 100% wool.

In many countries, the main difference between collective marks and certification marks is that the former may only be used by a specific group of enterprises, e.g., members of an association, while certification marks may be used by anybody who complies with the standards defined by the owner of the certification mark. An important requirement for certification marks is that the entity which applies for registration is considered "competent to certify" the products concerned.

Certification marks may be used together with the individual trademark of the producer of a given good. The label used as a certification mark will be evidence that the company's products meet the specific standards required for the use of the certification mark.

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