Please read our Green Dot FAQs to understand more about the use of the trademark in North America.
1) Who needs a license?
If you are a brand owner or importer of any goods being marketed, distributed or sold on the North American market that display or will display the Green Dot trademark on the packaging, you will need to get a license from Green Dot North America™.
Packaging is defined as any material used to contain and protect goods or to aid in their handling, delivery or presentation.
It is not mandatory to use the Green Dot trademark on packaging in North America. Using the trademark on packaging does not imply compliance with or a financial contribution to any packaging stewardship programs that may exist in North America; or that the packaging materials can be recycled or sorted in a certain way by the consumer.
A parent company can purchase a license on behalf of all their subsidiary companies and divisions. The license will cover you for all product lines regardless of quantity, volume and range of products.
Purchasing a license from Green Dot North America™ does not automatically exempt you from having to obtain a license for the products exported to European countries that operate their own Green Dot compliance schemes. Likewise if you are a registered licensee with another European Green Dot compliance scheme, you will still be required to purchase a license to cover you for the products placed on the North American market.
2) Why apply for a license?
A license from Green Dot North America™ gives your company the following advantages and safeguards:
- Legal protection from claims by a holder of a similar trademark and ensures you are in compliance with trademark regulations in Canada, United States and Mexico. It is illegal to use the trademark in North America if you have not purchased a license from Green Dot North America. Please refer to Trademark Infringement for more details.
- Packaging administration and cost efficiency in that the same packaging design and label can be applied to all packaging regardless of country destination (providing the licensing requirements are met in each country).
- Consumer protection from misrepresentation of the trademark’s meaning. The Green Dot trademark is not a recycling symbol and should not be used to suggest that a product is recyclable or to support an environmental claim. Licensing the trademark protects the consumer from fraudulent claims. The user is required to apply the trademark in a manner consistent with the terms and conditions of Green Dot North America’s User Agreement.
The registration of the Green Dot in North America and internationally enables it to be defended against unauthorized use such as using the mark in a misleading way or using the mark in deviation of its meaning. The protection of the trademark and the unrestricted use of it worldwide by authorized companies are indispensable prerequisites for the functioning of European packaging recycling systems.
3) How do I avoid trademark infringement?
It is illegal to use the Green Dot trademark on packaging for consumer goods that are sold on the North American market if you are not formally licensed to do so. PRO-Europe will be notified of companies that are not in compliance with Green Dot North America™.
If you are a brand owner or importer of any goods being placed on the North American market that display the Green Dot trademark on the packaging, you will need to get a license from Green Dot North America™. Regardless of selling technique used (including distance communication), the brand owner is the person who:
- manufacturers and sells goods under his own brand
- resells under his own brand goods produced by other suppliers, or
- imports or exports goods on a professional basis into North America.
You are not in infringement if you print or apply the Green Dot trademark on material used for labeling or packaging goods, within the authority of a person who holds a license for the Green Dot trademark and where such material is used by the licensee in accordance with the terms of the user agreement.
4) What does the license cost?
Green Dot North America™ operates on a cost-recovery basis to cover the cost of setting up licenses with existing (and future) users as well as the cost for protecting the trademark in North America.
The cost of a North America license for the current calendar year is $1350 (US). This fee covers the user for all product lines sold in North America in the calendar year regardless of quantity, volume and range of products.
Payment is due annually within 30 days of receipt of invoice. Payment may be made by cheque, wire transfer (additional fee applies), or credit card. For transfer instructions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual charge is subject to variation from year-to-year at the discretion of Green Dot North America™.
5) What is the correct usage of the Green Dot trademark on packaging?
If your company intends to use the Green Dot trademark on its packaging it is important the trademark is used correctly. Please refer to The Green Dot Guidelines for On-Pack Use of the trademark to ensure correct usage.
A valid license agreement with an authorized national packaging recovery organization is required before the Green Dot trademark can be applied to packaging.