TMEP 1210.09: Geographic Certification Marks

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1210.09    Geographic Certification Marks

Under certain circumstances, the name of the place from which goods or services originate may function as a certification mark. When geographic terms are used to certify regional origin (e.g., "Idaho" used to certify that potatoes are grown in Idaho), registration of certification marks should not be refused and, in applications to register composite certification marks, disclaimers of these geographic terms should not be required on the ground of geographical descriptiveness. See TMEP §§1306.05(a)–1306.05(c) concerning procedures for registration of certification marks that certify regional origin.

When a geographical term used in a composite certification mark is not used to certify regional origin (e.g., "California" used to certify that fruit is organically grown), appropriate refusals pursuant to §§2(e)(2), 2(e)(3), or 2(a) should be made.