Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that does not apply to registered trademarks. As the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) becomes more popular, we start to see the logo, or key parts of it, being used on products that are not certified. For example: the logo on the left is the true GFCP trade mark. The logo on the right is one that recently appeared on a pack of rice treats. Notice the similarity? This designer made a minor change in the font and took out the dots. Some logos we have found just strip off the CCA’s name.
Whenever we find this, the CCA takes action to protect our registered mark. We start with a registered letter to the manufacturer or importer with a clear “cease and desist” letter. If we don’t get action, the issue escalates to a letter from our lawyer. The first couple of times we ran into this, the explanations were “I just asked my graphic designer to make up a mark”*, and as a result of our outreach on this issue, the companies both became part of the GFCP! We are waiting on a response from several more companies at the moment.
We need your help in spotting these problem products because CCA and GFCP staff members shop in only a small number of stores across Canada. If you see a potential misuse of the GFCP mark, please take a picture of the product that shows the mark and a second picture that shows the company contact information printed on the package. You don’t need to buy the product – you can take the picture right in the store, if you wish. Send the pictures to [email protected] and we will take it from there.
Thank you for your help keeping the program strong.