In June, we held the Understanding Certification Trade Marks for Food forum in Sydney. The forum aimed to help Australian food businesses understand how certification trade marks can be used to benefit business and show consumers that their products and services meet particular standards.

Certification trade marks are a great way to differentiate your products in a crowded market. With the rise in consumer education of products; awareness, choice, origins, gluten free and ethical aspects of food are becoming increasingly important.

The sold out forum opened with IP Australia and the ACCC discussing the value of certification trade marks to business and the food industry, how geographic origin certification trade marks are intended to work and the ACCC’s role in assessing applications. Attendees learned that many Australian businesses don’t fully understand the potential competitive advantage of this IP right. Currently, there are only around 500 registered certification trade marks in Australia compared to over 600,000 registered standard trade marks.

Current Australian certification trade mark holders including the Glycemic Index Foundation, FODMAP, Victorian Farmers’ Market Association and Mornington Peninsula Produce discussed their experiences and how certification trade marks have helped consumers to readily identify their products in the marketplace.

Later, attendees heard how certification trade marks can help consumers identify products and give them confidence in what they are buying. To become a certification trade mark, products or services are ‘certified’ with special characteristics, such as how or where they’re made. Importantly, certification trade marks can’t only apply to one brand. Any business or organisation that meets the criteria must be allowed to use the certification trade mark without exclusion.

Want to know more about certification trade marks? Visit our certification trade marks section to view videos from the forum and find out more information on the rules and how to apply.

26 September 2018