Starting 1 October 2017, certification marks will also be introduced in the European Union (Regulation (EU) 2015/2424).

Certification marks are a new kind of trade mark at EU level – even if they have existed in certain national level syst ems in the EU for some years – and are managed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain.

The launch of this new right will require mindful planning and will have a remarkable impact on trade mark practice.

The European Union Certification Mark is defined as a mark that is “capable of distinguishing goods or services which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics, with the exception of geographical origin, from goods and services which are not so certified.” Thus, certification marks allow the proprietor to permit others to use a particular mark for the purpose of guaranteeing to the relevant public that their goods or services comply with certain certification requirements.

The applicant for an EU certification mark will be required to submit regulations governing use thereof before the EUIPO within 2 months of filing the application and must detail the persons authorized to use the mark, the characteristics to be certified by the mark, and how the certifying body is to test that those characteristics exist and supervise the use of the mark.
Having acquired a broad experience in Collective EU Trade Marks since the introduction of the EUIPO (formerly UAMI) and in the preparation of their regulations of use, we would be pleased to assist our clients also in the preparation of the regulations of use for EU certification marks.
Certification marks are flexible tools which may offer protection to any natural or legal persons, including institutions, authorities and bodies governed by public law and which could enhance their competiveness in the current economy. This development will be, therefore, of great interest and advantage not only to certifying bodies but also to new entities with interests in multiple EU member states, since they will soon be able to obtain EU-wide certification marks.
Our firm will be glad to provide any information and advice about both the procedure of filing for an EU certification mark and the preparation of the corresponding regulations of use.