Geographic Certification Marks

The purpose of this section is to discuss the Exam Guide: Geographic Certification Marks. Please leave all general comments here, with more specific comments in the appropriate subsection.

Update: We would like to get as much feedback as possible while still maintaining our schedule for the exam guide, so we have extended the comment period until August 15. We look forward to receiving your comments, and please do not forget to review and vote on the other proposed ideas.

Geographic Certification Marks

Does Examination Guide 13 comply with TRIPs Article 22?

I have a general comment on Examination Guide 13 which I am not sure fits any of the specific questions you have. Essentially I wonder whether, to the extent that the certification mark system is part of the implementation of the Article 22 TRIPS obligations, the US is in compliance with those obligations. This comment does not address whether trademarks can or cannot properly implement Article 22 commitments. Rather ...more »

Submitted by (@bernard.oconnor)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Comments on Geographic Certification Marks

On behalf of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), thank you for the opportunity to comment on Draft Examination Guide 13, concerning the examination of geographic certification marks (guidelines). CCFN has a great interest in this area and is active in the discussion of domestic and international policy concerning the relationship between trademarks, geographical indications and generic terms. Our organization ...more »

Submitted by (@smorris)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Time allowed, Part II.C, American producers affected

** As an overall comment, while we welcome the chance to respond to the proposed changes, we find the time allowed and the announcement given to the affected communities wholly inadequate. We strongly support allowing more time, perhaps 2-3 months, to expand the awareness of these actions. The American Origin Products Association (AOPA) is a relatively new 501c6 trade association representing over 5,000 producers, ...more »

Submitted by (@aopa.office)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Comment Regarding Section II(G)

The Existence of Numerous Third-Party Registrations Undermines an Applicant’s Claimed Rights in the Applied-For Mark: Finally, with respect to the Draft Exam. Guide’s analysis set forth at Section II(G), p. 8, it is undoubtedly correct that the presence of numerous prior registrations containing the same term claimed to be a geographic designation undermines the validity of the applied-for mark. Such circumstances ...more »

Submitted by (@alan.nemes)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Proposed Comments Regarding Section II(C)

Focus Must Always Remain on the Applicant’s Proof that the Applied-for Term Functions Primarily to Identify Geographic Origin: Section II(C), page six, of the Draft Exam. Guide misconstrues a significant area of inquiry applicable to the issue of whether a mark functions as a geographic certification mark. As phrased, the Draft Examination Guide suggests an “either/or” proposition—i.e., that an applied-for mark either ...more »

Submitted by (@alan.nemes)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Geographic Certification Mark General Comments

Pursuant to the Office’s request published at USPTO.gov, I take this opportunity as a trademark practitioner to provide comment on the current draft examination guide entitled “Geographic Certification Marks” (“Draft Exam. Guide”). Thank you for soliciting input regarding this important area in the law. Undoubtedly, the additional guidance set forth in the PTO’s Draft Exam. Guide, along with comments provided by the ...more »

Submitted by (@alan.nemes)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Critique of Section IIC

I am a partner with the law firm Abelman Frayne & Schwab. We represent clients in a wide variety of industries, including the alcoholic beverage and food industries. In preparing this statement we did not seek input from any of the firms clients, nor have any of our clients reviewed this statement prior to its posting on this site. The wording of Section II(C) includes misleading paraphrasing of the cases and TMEP ...more »

Submitted by (@mamastrovito)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Patrick Kole

The Idaho Potato Commission (“IPC”) hereby submits the following comments on the Examination Guide for Geographic Certification Marks being proposed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). IPC is a statutorily created agency of the government of the State of Idaho. It is governed by nine Commissioners appointed by the State’s Governor; five potato growers, two potato shippers and two potato processors. IPC ...more »

Submitted by (@patrick.kole)

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Geographic Certification Marks

INTA Geographic Indications Subcommittee Comments

The International Trademark Association (INTA) Related Rights Committee’s: Subcommittee on Geographical Indications hereby submits the following comments on the Examination Guide for Geographic Certification Marks being proposed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). INTA is a not-for-profit membership association of more than 6000 trademark owners and professionals, from more than 190 countries, dedicated ...more »

Submitted by (@mking2)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Geographic Certification Marks, oriGIn comments

The Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network (oriGIn) is the global alliance of geographical indications (GIs), representing some 350 groups and over two-million producers. oriGIn advocates for the effective legal protection and enforcement of GIs at the national, regional and international level. We would like to thank the USPTO ...more »

Submitted by (@massimo)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Comment Deadline

We request additional time to review and comment on the Examination Guidelines, given the relatively short initial comment period allocated and the lack of Federal Register notice to help adequately inform the public of the release of this important draft document. We request PTO grant an additional 30 days for comments on this topic.

Submitted by (@smorris)

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Geographic Certification Marks

Geographic Certification Marks General Comments

The Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma (the “Consorzio”), a consortium of producers of Italian prosciutto thanks the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“Office”) for the opportunity to provide comments regarding the Draft Examination Guide on Geographic Certification Marks (“Draft Guide”). The Consorzio owns several geographic certification marks including PARMA HAM®, PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA® and others that serve ...more »

Submitted by (@dbiltchik)

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