As of October 1st 2017, in connection with the entry, on March 23rd 2016, of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2015/2424 amending the regulation on the Community trade mark, the trade mark system being in force in the European Union was enlarged by a new type of trade mark, i.e. the EU certification mark.
The main aim of introducing the EU certification marks was to ensure that goods and services certified by such marks have specific characteristics, including in particular a certain quality in terms of material or method of production. The marking of goods or services with the EU certification mark is therefore intended to give consumers a guarantee that they have specific characteristics and comply with the imposed standards.
As a principle, any natural or legal person may apply for the EU certification mark. The fee for the motion amounts to € 1.500, if applied for by electronic means. The EU certification mark owner shall then authorize the operators concerned to use it and the authorized operators shall comply with the conditions set out in the regulation governing use of the certification mark. The quality of the goods and services bearing the EU certification mark is subjected to control under the responsibility of the owner, which guarantees the compatibility of their standard with the standard given by the owner for the goods or services designated therein.
However, one should remember, that the regulations on EU certification marks provide two essential limitations for their obtaining. Firstly, the owner of the certification mark can’t be a person carrying out a business involving the supply of the goods and services of the kind that are subject to the certification mark. It means that the EU certification mark owner is not entitled to use it in the course of business, but only to make it available to other operators. Secondly, the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and of the Council provides, that the EU certification mark can’t be filed for the purpose of distinguishing goods or services in respect of their geographical origin. It follows from the fact, that the EU certification mark is intended only to distinguish goods and services in terms of their usage and functional characteristics other than those related to the geographical origin.