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FSC to pilot revised trademark license agreement this year


February 28, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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Forest on Vancouver IslandPhoto: rgbspace/Getty Images

The Forest Stewardship Council will begin the rollout of its revised and improved trademark license agreement (TLA) in a pilot phase starting in the second quarter of 2020.

Brazil, China, Germany, Russia and the United States will be the first countries to operate under the new license agreement before it is extended to other countries later in the year.

The revamped TLA is designed to meet new legal developments such as the European data protection law requirements (called GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation), improve user experience and strengthen the integrity of the FSC system.

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The new TLA will introduce new measures to combat false claims (non-certified materials sold under the guise of being certified), including extended transaction verification and possible financial penalties for false claims. All these measures will enhance the integrity and protection of the FSC system.

Additionally, the TLA will be released with a new IT tool enabling a certificate holder to electronically sign and submit the TLA, reducing paperwork and making the contract more accessible and faster to administer. This will be a vast improvement compared to the current system of printing and scanning hard copies.

The TLA is issued by FSC to organizations that hold FSC certificates or that apply for certification.

While the certificate validates that the holder manages its operations according to FSC standards, the TLA gives the certificate holder permission to use FSC’s trademarked logo.

The TLA also provides the contractual acknowledgment that the organization adheres to the FSC certification requirements.