EU certification marks: a new societal and environmental role?

"Brands play an increasingly complex role in society. Their position goes beyond economic impact to include social and environmental impact.
Zeeger Vink, INTA President
Opening ceremony of the INTA 2022 Annual Meeting
01. Definition
Transparency, reliability and guarantees are the new concerns of consumers.

To meet these expectations, in 2017 the European Union created the certification mark, whose essential function is no longer to indicate the origin of products or services but to certify that the products or services meet specific characteristics.

What exactly is the certification mark?
Defined by the EU Trade Mark Regulation, a certification mark is a mark "capable of distinguishing goods or services for which the material, method of manufacture of the goods or provision of the services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics, with the exception of geographical origin, are certified by the owner of the mark from goods or services which do not benefit from such certification" (Article 83(1) EUMR).
02. Issues

Faced with new consumer demands and the desire of companies to place the environment at the heart of their strategy, certification marks play a key role

A 2022 study on the evolution of consumers' Google queries* conducted over 5 years, in 90 countries and across several industries, reveals :

"On the one hand, consumers are increasingly inclined to consume less but better, and on the other hand, they are approaching their investment and their relationship with finance by increasingly taking into consideration its impact on the planet and society.

* Sustainability Trends 2022, Kantar Insights Institute
Certification marks, as a "quality label", are particularly important for consumers regarding sustainable products to certify, for example, that the raw material comes from sustainable sources.
Recent filings for EU certification marks reflect this objective.
03. In practice

The EU certification mark in 4 concrete questions:

  1. What are the objectives?
  2. Who can file?
  3. How to file?
  4. On which territories is it valid?
What are the objectives?

The applicant creates a "quality mark" which he allows third parties to use to certify their products and services. The certification mark is a sign of supervised quality and strengthens the brand image of companies

Who can file?

Any natural or legal person, including institutions, authorities and bodies governed by public law, provided that such person does not carry out an activity relating to the supply of products or services of the certified type.

How to file?

An EU certification mark must meet the same criteria as an individual mark (distinctive, available, in the public interest and not misleading to the consumer).

The applicant must :

Select the type of mark in your application
Selecting the goods and services that it will certify as a trademark holder
Include the rules of use
Read more
In which territories is it valid?

A European Union certification mark is valid in all 27 EU member states.

The EU certification mark has its equivalent in France : the guarantee mark (formerly collective certification mark).
04. In a few figures
EU certification marks have been registered since1 January 2021
of which 21 word marks
and 133 figurative marks
Do you want to register your certification mark?
Let's discuss it!
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