Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) are a significant means to distinguish oneself in the email inbox and provide a graphical representation of the brand. VMCs are an integral part of the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) initiative, which was introduced in July 2021. Since then, companies worldwide have been utilizing VMCs to showcase their brand in emails, even before the email is opened.
The adoption of VMC has increased over the last two years, and DigiCert has announced the availability of VMCs in six additional countries with trademark registrations, as well as government marks in over 30 countries across the world.
Also Read: Apple adopts BIMI & VMCs for Email Security
Let’s dig deeper into the details
A government mark is a symbol used to represent government agencies. Government marks represent the authority of a government branch or agency, while registered trademarks represent a business’s brand identity. Government logos are often authorized and protected by government legislation.
Government marks and registered trademarks are two distinct concepts. While a government mark is used by government agencies to represent their organization, a registered trademark is a legally protected symbol or design used by businesses to identify their products or services. A registered trademark must be unique and distinguishable from other trademarks, and its owner has exclusive rights to use it in commerce. The key difference between government marks and registered trademarks is that government marks denote the authority of a government branch or agency, whereas registered trademarks reflect a business’s brand identity.
Government marks were added to VMC requirements to solve a unique challenge. Unlike trademarks, which are how private organizations register and protect their logos, government logos are often specified and protected differently, often by government legislation. This means that in some cases, there is no trademark registration for the associated seal or logo.
To address the challenge of government logos not having trademark registration, VMC requirements were updated. Now, government agencies can present their enabling legislation as proof of their right to use their logo instead of trademark registration. This allows them to obtain VMCs for their official seals, which they can now display in their inbox.
Government marks are eligible for a VMC everywhere VMC trademarks are currently accepted, including all European Union countries.
Currently, the VMC certificate guidelines formally acknowledge the intellectual property offices listed below:
One of the prerequisites to qualify for a VMC is to possess a trademark. However, if you don’t already have a trademark, you can initiate the process of acquiring one. The VMC working group is constantly exploring ways to make VMCs more accessible so that more businesses can use them to visually represent their identity in emails.
As a member of the working group, DigiCert (We are the platinum partner elite for India) is actively involved in this initiative and will provide updates on VMC adoption opportunities. Stay tuned for the latest developments!
For more information on VMCs, visit www.verimarkcert.com or the VeriMarkCert blog.