What is a certification trade mark?
While standard trade marks are designed to distinguish your goods or services from another trader, certification trade marks assure that your goods or services meet a particular standard or hold a certain characteristic. It might indicate that it is:
- Of a particular quality
- Made from particular materials or ingredients
- Manufactured using a particular production method
- Sourced exclusively from or made in a specific geographic location.
The Australian Made, Australian Grown certification trade mark was registered by the Australian Government to promote Australian made products in local and export markets. Products marked with this symbol guarantees that the item was made or grown in Australia. Today, the certification is used by more than 1,700 companies on over 10,000 products sold globally.
Unique rules govern how a certification is used
Certifications can only be registered if you also set out rules to govern how it is used. The rules specify:
- The standards that the goods or services must meet to use the certification
- The method used to decide if the standards have been met
- The requirements that an approved certifier must meet
- The requirements that the owner of the certification or approved user must meet
- The procedure for resolving disputes about whether goods or services meet the standards
- Any other requirements for use of the certification.
Certification trade marks are designed to be used by many companies at once. You can apply to the owner to use the certification trade mark if you can demonstrate that your good or service meet the certification's rules. If successful, you can advertise your good or services as meeting those standards.
You can search existing certifications in the Australian Trade Mark Search.Search existing certifications
How to apply for a new certification
You can apply to certify your trade mark as part of your standard trade mark application. Just let us know that you want to file your trade mark as a certification during the application.
You'll also need to submit the set of rules that describe when and how the certification can be used by authorised users. Once your application has been filed, your certification rules will be reviewed by us and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The examination process
Certifications are subject to an initial trade mark application examination. During this time, we will provide the rules to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to review.
Assessment of the rules
The ACCC will assess and approve rules for your certification trade mark. The ACCC considers varies aspects of the certification, including the effectiveness of the rules and the effect the certification may have. The ACCC will issue an initial assessment and allow for public submissions before it makes a final assessment. We may not register a certification trade mark without the ACCC’s approval.
Once we and the ACCC are satisfied the certification meets the legislated requirements, it is accepted and advertised for registration. The registered certification trade mark can now be used by the owner or by users authorised by the owner and who comply with its rules.