Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Are you REALLY a GIS Professional?

Slack time over the holidays leads to weird serendipity, idle hands and all of that.  I was reading about a trademark troll in the game industry when I saw a tweet about GISP Certification.  Curious about the current state of GIS Certification, I started reading through the site. Reading the GISCI Certification FAQ, I found this:
The "GIS Professional" and "GISP" designations are protected as federal registered trademarks owned by the GIS Certification Institute, which reserves all rights.  The Institute takes the duty of protecting the GISP credential very seriously.  If you have not been personally certified as a GISP by the Institute, then you cannot legally use the GISP designation, either as part of your signature or on your resume.  Any person found to have used the GISP designation without having been previously granted use of that credential by the GIS Certification Institute will be subject to legal action under federal copyright and trademark code.  In addition, such violation shall subject the person to disciplinary action under the GISCI Code of Ethics for misrepresentation of qualifications and/or any other applicable grounds.
I've seen plenty of resumes with "GIS Professional" ; apropos of my extracurricular reading, I wondered if they were infringing on GISCI's trademark.  Searching the the US Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) for "GIS Professional" yields two results not related to the GISCI but to another certification program that claims "GIS Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Systems" as its trademark.

GISCI does hold the GISP trademark (yes, certification is essentially a brand), but not "GIS Professional" as a trademark. All the GIS Professionals can now breathe a sigh of relief and GISCI should correct its website accordingly.

No comments:

Post a Comment