The ACCC has received an application to register a certification trade mark (CTM) number 1265568 lodged by Australian Organic Ltd, formerly Biological Farmers of Australia (Australian Organic).
Australian Organic’s current CTM application proposes to set standards for certification of producers, processors, wholesalers, packers, retailers and restaurants. Certified operators are able to utilise the “bud” logo and words “Australian Certified Organic” on certified products. It includes requirements for management of soil fertility, pests and soil contamination as well as sector specific standards for different kinds of livestock and production systems.
The ACCC assessed a previous CTM application (CTM1265566) by Australian Organic (then Biological Farmers Association) in 2009. CTM1265566 related to the use of the “bud” logo only without the words “Australian Certified Organic” and used an earlier version of the Australian Certified Organic Standard.
Under Part 16 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (TMA), before a CTM can be registered by IP Australia the ACCC must be satisfied that certain criteria are met. In general terms, the ACCC must be satisfied that the CTM application and corresponding rules meet the technical requirements set by the TMA and do not raise consumer protection, competition or associated concerns.
The ACCC anticipates issuing an initial assessment in this matter in November. Parties will have the opportunity to respond to the ACCC’s initial assessment prior to a final decision.
Publication: Certification trade marks: the role of the ACCC
Proposed Certification Trade Mark rules - Australian Certified Organic Standard 2013 ( PDF 1.31 MB )
The ACCC has received the following submissions from interested parties on the application.
Submission by AUS-QUAL ( PDF 7.39 MB )
Submission by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ( PDF 596.91 KB )
Submission by Organic Federation of Australia ( PDF 2.86 MB )