TMEP 1306.02(c): Identification of Goods and Services of the Authorized Users

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1306.02(c)    Identification of Goods and Services of the Authorized Users

The identification of goods or services in a certification mark application must describe the goods and/or services of the party who will receive the certification, not the activities of the certifier/owner of the certification mark. This is consistent with the requirement that the owner of a certification mark not produce the goods or perform the services in connection with which the mark is used. See 37 C.F.R. §2.45(a)(4)(i)(C), (a)(4)(ii)(B), (a)(4)(iii)(B), (a)(4)(iv)(B), (a)(4)(v)(A). The certification activities of the certifier are described in the certification statement, not in the identification of goods/services. For an explanation of the certification statement, see TMEP § 1306.03(a).

In a certification mark application, the goods or services that are certified may be identified less specifically than in an application for registration of a trademark or service mark. Ordinarily, it is only necessary to indicate the general category of goods and services, such as the following: food, agricultural commodities, electrical products, clothing, printed material, insurance services, machinery repair, or restaurant services. However, sufficient information must be provided to enable a comparison of goods/services and analysis of trade channels in regard to possible likelihood-of-confusion scenarios. If the certification program itself is limited to specific items of goods or services, for example, wine, wood doors, or bakery machinery, then the identification in the application must also reflect this level of specificity.

The terms "certification," "certify," or "certifies" should not be included in the identification, which should be limited only to the goods or services, as in the following examples:

Building, construction, and safety materials and products, in International Class A

Medical services in the field of addiction medicine and treatment, in International Class B

Furthermore, the identification in an application for a geographic certification mark need not refer to the specific geographic origin of the goods or services. For example, the identification of goods for the geographic certification mark WISCONSIN REAL CHEESE is "dairy products, namely, cheese."