Responsibility marks and hallmarks
What is a responsibility mark?
A responsibility mark describes who has brought an article into the market (manufacturer or importer). This makes it possible to identify who has made the article, for example which jeweller.
What is a hallmark?
A hallmark is a guarantee of certain purity or fineness of the metal, as determined by official metal (assay) testing. A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of metal, such as platinum, gold and silver.
Why must an article have a responsibility mark?
If you are in the gold and silversmith business and wish to sell the articles you have produced, you are obliged to have a responsibility mark which can identify the manufacturer. You register your responsibility mark at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO). The responsibility mark also helps to maintain confidence amongst consumers that the fineness stamped on an article corresponds with the actual fineness of the article.
You will find an overview of responsibility marks in Norway in our Search Service. Here you can see what the mark looks like and who is the owner. The owner of the mark may be different to the jewellery shop or other sales point selling the jewellery. Please note that not all the marks registered are valid. Remember to check the status.
Responsibility mark registrations are published in the Official Trademark Gazette which is available on this website.
Registering your responsibility mark
You register your responsibility mark at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. There is no central register for EU and EEA countries; each country has its own national register.
Application Form (in Altinn) - in Norwegian only. For Norwegian residents and companies operating in Norway: we recommend this form for security reasons. You will receive a receipt immediately.
Filling out the application
The application should contain the applicant's name or business, and an address.
It should also include a representation of the mark, no larger than 8 x 8 cm. The mark may of course be scaled down to fit the article, but it must have the same proportions as the registered mark.
If the applicant uses the services of a professional representative, a written power of attorney must be submitted.
How long is a responsibility mark valid?
When you first register your responsibility mark, the protection lasts for ten years. You may renew your registration every ten years, an unlimited number of times.
How much does it cost to register a responsibility mark?
- Application fee: NOK 1000
- Resumption fee for shelved application: NOK 500
- Renewal of responsibility mark: NOK 700
- Additional fee for late payment: NOK 300
- Processing an objection to the Board of Appeal: NOK 2500
- Administrative review of registration: NOK 2500
How to pay the fee
When can I expect an answer?
We will process the application within one month after you have paid the application fee.
If you do not pay electronically upon filing, we will send you an invoice for the application fee within one week of receiving the application. You have one month to pay the invoice.
We check first whether there are any formal errors in the application. Then we check if there are any obstacles to our being able to register the mark, for example if the mark violates law, public order and morality, if it is likely to mislead or if it is likely to be confused with someone else's responsibility mark, older marks.
If we find any formal errors or obstacles which prevent registration, we will write and give you a deadline of three months to correct the errors or send us a modified mark. If you send us a modified mark in the existing application, we will investigate this as a new mark.
When everything is in order with the application, we will register the responsibility mark immediately and send you a registration certificate in Altinn or in the mail if you do not use Altinn.
Protests against the registration of a responsibility mark
If you believe that the Norwegian Industrial Property Office has registered a responsibility mark on an incorrect basis, you may appeal this by sending us a request for an administrative review. The request must include:
- The name and address of the person sending the appeal
- The number of the registration for which you are requesting a review
- The reasons on which the request is based
- Necessary documentation of the conditions that apply to the request
Anyone may request an administrative review of a responsibility mark as long as the registration exists.
Ar you importing goods made of precious metals from EU or EEA countries?
When importing goods made of precious metals from EU and EEA countries, which carry the correct stamp from one of these countries, it is not necessary for you as importer or distributor of such goods to stamp them with a Norwegian responsibility mark. However this only applies if there is no likelihood of confusion with a Norwegian responsibility mark. You can check this with register of responsibility mark at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. (Read more about how you can search our database in the paragraph "Overview of responsibility marks in Norway".)
It must be possible to identify the manufacturer, and you must be able to prove that the mark was applied to the article in a correct and lawful manner. Before starting to sell the goods, the importer or distributor must be able to document their authenticity to the Norwegian Metrology Service (Justervesenet), the organ responsible for controlling goods made of precious metals. Contact the Norwegian Metrology Service for more information.
NB: Remember that a watch is considered precious metal if the degree of fineness implies this. Also, please note that Switzerland is not an EEA country and that if you import precious metal from there, the responsibility mark must be registered with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office - see information below for imports from countries outside the EU / EEA.
Are you importing precious metal products from countries outside the EU / EEA?
If you import goods in precious metal from countries outside the EU / EEA area, the goods must be stamped with a responsibility mark registered with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. As an importer, you are responsible for ensuring that the degree of fineness of the item is in accordance with the true fineness.
Regulations on responsibility marks are in Norwegian only. The links go to Lovdata:
- Forskrift om registrering av ansvarsmerker
- Lov om varer av edelt metall
- Forskrift om varer av edelt metall