A certification mark is a mark on a product that indicates the item’s compliance with the existing standards and regulations. It helps a company show consumers that products have high quality, comply with the requirements, and possess the necessary documentation.

In this article, we’ll find out the things a certification mark indicates, make the difference between a certification mark and a trademark clear, and get to know how to obtain this mark.

What does a certification mark indicate?

A certification mark indicates that your products and services have been thoroughly tested on the product's quality, material, and origin. Certification organizations confirm that the product meets the existing standards and let companies use a specific type of certification mark for their goods. It shows that there is an agreement between a producer and national testing organizations. This agreement controls the safety and quality of products from different brands all over the world.

If a product or service has a certification mark, it meets the existing requirements of certification centers. If a government agency registers a certification mark, it approves the product’s quality. There are different types of marks. They can show the specific region an item comes from and the way it was produced. For example, if the product was created from recycled materials, you’ll see it on its certification mark.

There are no special rules for the forms of marks. They don’t need to include some special wording, yet you can often encounter goods with “certified” on their packaging.

Now that you know why brands need certification marks, it’s time to learn the distinctive features of certification marks and trademarks. This is since people think that they define the same things. In fact, they are used in completely different situations and denote different processes.

Certification Mark vs Trademark

Often, people confuse these terms, so we’ll provide you with a detailed description of each. This way, you’ll be able to identify whether you talk about a certification mark or trademark.

A certification mark is a special mark that denotes that a product complies with the standards and requirements of certification organizations. They check the origin, quality, material, and other characteristics of goods and services. Products must comply with the set standards. Companies don’t own them since certification marks are evidence of the existence of common regulations on a national level. A certification mark supports the agreements between producers of goods and testing organizations.

A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase, or design that indicates the ownership of a product to a specific company. It prevents any infringements or negative influences on reputation from other businesses. With a trademark, you have your product and brand protected. A registered word, symbol, or design associated with your products will reduce dishonest acts of competitors and protect your property.

In a nutshell, a certification mark indicates that an item is produced with regard to generally accepted rules and standards, whereas a trademark shows the source of the product and helps its owner protect ownership rights on the products and services.

The difference is clear now, so let’s proceed to the next section to figure out ways to get a certification mark.

How to acquire a certification mark?

Sometimes people are concerned with the process of acquiring a certification mark for goods and services. Although the procedure will take some time and effort, you’ll have your products approved regarding quality, materials, and origin.

To get a certification mark, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • your legal name, physical, and email address;
  • the legal entity type;
  • the citizenship (the US or a foreign country);
  • a detailed description of your mark;
  • a translation in English (for those who have their documents in a foreign language);
  • the list of goods for which you want to get a certification mark;
  • a drawing of your mark;
  • filing fee (a charge from a government agency) and filing basis.

Once you have all the documents from the list above ready, you can apply for the certification mark. To do it, you need to use the Trademark Electronic Application System. You can do everything online. When the mark is ready, you’ll be notified.

Certification marks differ based on the products you use them for, yet they are similar in their purpose — protection of customers’ rights. They are evidence that products and services are safe and created according to generally accepted standards. To get the mark, you need to provide all the necessary documents and wait once everything is ready.


  1. This article provides readers with the definition and reasons to consider a certification mark.
  2. In this article, you’ll find the difference between a certification mark and a trademark.
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