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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3139
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I am the chairman of an organization that certifies professional

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I am the chairman of an organization that certifies professional bird trainers and we want to protect the credential CPBT-KA. Is it correct that we need a "Certification Mark?". I have been told to get a "Service MArk" but this does not seem correct.
Thank you,


A certification mark is a type of mark recognized by the trademark law where the mark is used in commerce by a person other than its owner. The definition is found in 15 U.S. Code § 1127, which provides as follows:

The term “certification mark” means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof—

(1) used by a person other than its owner, or

(2) which its owner has a bona fide intention to permit a person other than the owner to use in commerce and files an application to register on the principal register established by this chapter,

to certify regional or other origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of such person’s goods or services or that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.

Certification marks are generally owned by trade associations or other centralized commercial groups. And the owner of the mark sets standards for certification to identify the goods or services bearing the mark of a particular type.

This sounds exactly what you are trying to do by certifying bird trainers by setting certain qualification standards for the bird trainers, and you yourself are not using the mark, but rather are allowing certain bird trainers who meet your qualifications to use the CPBT-KA designation.

So, in short, yes I believe you want to apply for a certification mark.


Thomas Swartz and other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thomas, thank you for your prompt and detailed reply. I had read the definitions and really just wanted to be sure I understood them.

All the best,


Good luck.


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