The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark on its logo to protect the program against the misuse of the logo and deceptive business practices. C-TPAT worked with the Office of Public Affairs within U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the General Counsel, the office responsible for overseeing the DHS Intellectual Property Policy, to complete this task.
All licensing agreements will be issued free-of-charge. The C-TPAT Partner Agreement will be updated within the C-TPAT Portal to include clauses describing the proper use of the logo. When each Partner completes their annual profile review and re-signs the Agreement, they will also be agreeing to the proper use clauses. Until such time as a Partner’s next annual review, Partners are authorized to continue current uses of the trademark. Partners who are removed or withdrawn from the C-TPAT program must cease using the trademark. Note the display of the trademark does not denote program status; only the Status Verification Interface within the C-TPAT Portal verifies current program status.
At this time the C-TPAT trademark is being licensed only to C-TPAT Partners, as a benefit for continued program membership. In addition, a method already exists to record the user agreement and identify the number of licensees. The C-TPAT program is developing a method external to the Portal to allow non-C-TPAT Partners to request and register use of the logo.