Certification Marks — Compliance with Paragraph 30(f)

Publication Date: 1998-07-15

Paragraph 30(f) of the Trade-marks Act requires an application for the registration of a certification mark to contain particulars of the defined standard that the use of the mark is intended to indicate. The definition of "certification mark" in section 2 of the Act specifies what a defined standard must be in respect of.

In the past, the Trademarks Office has accepted particulars of a standard defined in very general terms. For example, particulars of a defined standard such as The use of the certification mark indicates that the specific goods listed above in association with which it is used are of a standard defined by the applicant with respect to their character and quality has been accepted. However, in view of the decision of the Trademarks Opposition Board in Molson Breweries v. Labatt Brewing (1996), 69 C.P.R. (3d) 274 in respect of the trademark KOKANEE & Design, this practice no longer appears to be acceptable.

Therefore, effective immediately, the Office will not accept an application for the registration of a certification mark as complying with the requirements of paragraph 30(f) of the Act, unless the application sets out in a meaningful way particulars of the defined standard that the use of the mark is intended to indicate. To be meaningful, the particulars set out should allow a member of the public to ascertain the precise nature of the defined standard that the use of the mark is intended to indicate.

Where the defined standard is very lengthy or where certain details of the standard may change from time to time, it is permissible for the applicant to include a brief summary of the standard in the trademark application and to refer to another document for the details of the standard, provided however that at least the relevant portions of the other document are available to and easily accessible by the public. To ensure that any such other document is available to and easily accessible by the public, copies may be filed with the Trademarks Office.

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