July 21, 2022

R95 Certification Mark Registered with Patent and Trademark Office

NIOSH has registered the certification mark R95 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the agency announced this month. R95 particulate filtering facepiece respirators filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles and are somewhat resistant to oil. The R95 certification mark is the latest mark that NIOSH has registered with the USPTO. Earlier this year, NIOSH said that it had registered with the USPTO the agency’s stylized logo with and without text; the certification marks N95, N99, N100, P95, and P100; and the term “NIOSH-approved.”

Now that these marks are registered with the USPTO as federal registrations as well as in several other countries, they are subject to trademark laws in the United States and elsewhere they are registered. NIOSH’s respirator certification marks were historically protected under common law rather than trademark registration, the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) website explains.

As the owner of the certification marks, NIOSH controls who can use them. The agency says it will allow manufacturers to use the certification marks only if they become NIOSH approval holders because their products satisfy the regulatory standards outlined in 42 CFR Part 84, which addresses certification requirements for respiratory protective devices.

NPPTL’s website also outlines NIOSH’s fraud and fraudulent statements policy, which warns against any misuse or misrepresentation of the certification marks. The policy extends to false or fraudulent statements made in NIOSH Respirator Approval Program applications as well as misrepresentation or misuse of NIOSH respirator approval numbers or the agency’s logo.

Further details can be found in a recent NIOSH conformity assessment letter to manufacturers.