BCG currently uses several marks. Our name, Board for Certification of Genealogists, and certification mark, Certified Genealogist, are registered trademarks. Our credentials other than our registered certification mark, CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, are service marks (registration of the CG mark is pending). If a mark is not registered with the USPTO, the trademark owner may not legally use the ® symbol in connection with the mark.

The following provides guidance about acceptable practices and uses—the methods of using and displaying all marks other than the newly registered certification mark remain the same as previously suggested; see, e.g., Michael S. Ramage, “A Primer on the Use of BCG Trademarks,” OnBoard 17 (May 2011): 1; and latest version of The BCG Application Guide (Washington, D.C.: Board for Certification of Genealogists).

 


Use by Editors

Where a single publication may contain references to credentials conferred by a number of organizations, BCG suggests a notice like the following be included in the front matter, acknowledging intellectual property rights in credential designations of each body:

Genealogical Credentials: The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. Accredited Genealogist and AG are certification marks of the International Commission for Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. Individuals are licensed to use the credential designations after meeting the competency standards of those organizations. FASG designates fellows of the American Society of Genealogists, an honorary society limited to fifty living members chosen for the quality of their published genealogical scholarship. Fellowship in other societies awarded on the basis of scholarship, rather than service or support to the society, may also be recognized by a postnominal designation incorporating the society’s initials.

In cases where only BCG-credentialed individuals are cited the notice may be shortened as:

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

The proper use of our credentials by board certificants will strengthen our marks and reduce the workload of our Intellectual Property Committee that polices the proper use by our certificants and third parties.

 


Use by BCG Associates


Use in Text or Speech

It is not proper usage to state, “I am a Certified Genealogist,” as that is a generic usage. On the other hand, it is proper usage to state, “I am Certified Genealogist John Doe,” “I am Jane Doe, Certified Genealogist,” or “I hold a Certified Genealogist credential.”


Use in Stationery

Examples of proper listing of this credential in letterhead:

John Doe
Certified Genealogist®

John Doe
CGSM

When we use the superscript ® or SM it is not necessary to provide any further notice of who owns the marks. If an associate prefers to not use the superscript abbreviations, they may be omitted as long as an appropriate notice is placed in a footer on the page where the postnominal first appears. The following notices are examples of acceptable usage:

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designation CG a proprietary service mark, of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by authorized associates following peer-reviewed competency evaluations. Certificate No. XX, renewed, expires 1 May 2021.

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.


Use in Email and Websites

When your email program and website support superscript and symbols the same rules apply as with stationery. However, when your email program and website do not support superscript and symbols, the following practices are acceptable:

(1) instead of superscripting the SM, place in parentheses, as in (SM); and

(2) instead of using the symbol ® after the name of our board or registered certification mark, Certified Genealogist, substitute “(R)” or the phrase “and the board name is registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office” or “and the words Certified Genealogist are registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.”