TMEP 1306.03(a): Certification Statement

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1306.03(a)    Certification Statement

The application must contain a statement of the characteristic, standard, or other feature that is certified or intended to be certified by the mark, also known as the certification statement. The certification statement should begin with wording, “The certification mark, as used or intended to be used by persons authorized by the certifier, certifies or is intended to certify that the goods/services provided have....” See 37 C.F.R. §2.45(a)(4)(i)(A), (a)(4)(ii)(A), (a)(4)(iii)(B), (a)(4)(iv)(B), (a)(4)(v)(A).

The certification statement must be sufficiently detailed to give proper notice of what is being certified. All of the characteristics or features that the mark certifies should be included. A certification mark application is not limited to certifying a single characteristic or feature.

The broad suggestive terms of the statute, such as quality, material, mode of manufacture, are generally not satisfactory by themselves, because they do not accurately reveal the nature of the certification. How specific the statement should be depends in part on the narrowness or breadth of the certification. For example, indicating that “quality” is being certified does not inform the public of what is being certified where the characteristic being certified is limited, for example, to the strength of a material, or the purity of a strain of seed.

The certification statement in the application is printed on the registration certificate. For that reason, it should be reasonably specific but does not have to include the details of the specifications of the characteristic being certified. If practicable, however, more detailed specifications should be made part of the application file record.

Amendments that would materially alter the certification statement must not be permitted. 37 C.F.R. §2.71(e).

The statement of what the mark certifies is a separate requirement from that of the identification of goods and/or services.

See TMEP §1306.05(b)(i) for information regarding the certification statement for geographic certification marks.