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Certification and Collective Marks

Law and Practice

Jeffrey Belson

Certification and Collective Marks is a thoroughly updated and augmented edition of Certification Marks, first published in 2002. This comprehensive study forms a wide-ranging inquiry, with comparisons of the certification and collective mark systems of the UK, EU and US, whilst also referring to other systems. In addition to the laws and policies impacting ownership and use of these marks, also addressed are their historical development, registration and protection, certifiers’ liability, legal and commercial significance, use in regulatory and technical standardization frameworks, and emergent sui generis forms of certification, namely ecolabels and electronic authentication marks in digital content. This publication is especially timely in light of the advent of the EU certification mark and the controversial EU proposals to extend the Geographical Indications system to include non-agri-food products.
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Jeffrey Belson

In the 15 years that have passed since publication of the first edition, the case law has continued to evolve, new statutes and policies to foster and protect purchaser confidence have emerged, and the globalization of commerce has continued apace. Therefore, a thorough update and augmentation of the work in the form of a new edition has become necessary. I have however retained the basic approach, which is to provide a wide-scope, research-based treatment of both the historical development and present state of applicable laws and policies.

As the new title of the book implies, collective marks are accorded more coverage than in the first edition. This is important because collective marks are sometimes interpreted as fulfilling a certification function, especially in jurisdictions that currently do not provide for registration of certification marks.

I wish to express my special appreciation to Dr. Neil J. Wilkof (Israel) for his continued interest in this work, his many insightful suggestions, and helpful discussions. I am also grateful for the advice and comments of Ray Black (UK), Susannah Belson (Israel), Gustaaf Vandegaer (Belgium) and John Yelencich (USA). In addition, I am indebted to Malcolm Langley, Librarian, Intellectual Property Archive, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, and Professor Robin Feldman of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, for facilitating invaluable, if necessarily brief, access to the libraries of their respective law schools.


January 2017

The opinions expressed in this book are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to HP Inc. or any of its affiliates.