Collective marks and certification marks in the UK and EU
Produced in partnership with Kilburn & Strode LLP
Collective marks and certification marks in the UK and EU

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Kilburn & Strode LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Collective marks and certification marks in the UK and EU
  • What are collective trade marks and certification trade marks?
  • Certification marks
  • Collective marks
  • Exploitation

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—IP rights.

What are collective trade marks and certification trade marks?

As with a traditional trade mark, the purpose of a certification or collective mark is to provide consumers with information to inform their buying choice.

Certification marks provide consumers with a guarantee that the goods purchased or services rendered under a mark meet a particular standard.

Collective marks, on the other hand, let consumers know that goods or services are offered by an undertaking that is a member of a particular association. The connection between an undertaking and an association can convey in the mind of a consumer certain attributes or qualities of the offering provided by that undertaking.

Certification mark Collective mark
—used to distinguish certain characteristics of the goods and services certified
—can be used by anyone whose goods or services have the characteristics or meet the set standards
—can be owned by any entity that