FROM TITLE 25, SECTION 308 OF THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS - CERTIFICATES OF INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS TO CERTIFY GENUINENESS OF INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS
This federal code section establishes a procedure for authenticating Indian products and procedures for filing a complaint against those who sell products which are not authentic Indian products.
What are the key definitions for purposes of the Act?
Indian as applied to an individual means a person who is a member of an Indian tribe or for purposes of this part is certified by an Indian tribe as a non-member Indian artisan.
Indian artisan means an individual who is certified by an Indian tribe as a non-member Indian artisan.
Indian arts and crafts organization means any legally established arts and crafts marketing organization composed of members of Indian tribes.
Indian product-- In general. Indian product means any art or craft product made by an Indian. Exclusion for products made before 1935.
Indian tribe means--
Any Indian tribe, band, nation, Alaska Native village, or any organized group or community which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians; or
Any Indian group that has been formally recognized as an Indian tribe by a State legislature or by a State commission or similar organization legislatively vested with State tribal recognition authority.
Product of a particular Indian tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization means that the origin of a product is identified as a named Indian tribe or named Indian arts and crafts organization.
CERTIFICATES FOR INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS
The Indian Arts and Crafts Board offers each Indian enterprise the privilege of attaching to its trademark a certificate declaring that it is recognized by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board as an Indian enterprise dealing in genuine Indian-made handicraft products, and that its trade-mark has the approval of the Board. The certificate shall consist of a border around the trade-mark bearing the words ``Certified Indian Enterprise Genuine Handicrafts, U.S. Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Department of the Interior,'' and these words may be used wherever the trade-mark appears. Application for the certificates are made to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Department of the Interior.
Conditions of eligibility to attach certificates.
It must offer for sale only Indian-made genuine handicraft products, i.e., objects produced by Indian craftsmen with the help of only such devices as allow the manual skill of the maker to condition the shape and design of each individual product.
It must be entirely Indian owned and organized either by individual Indians or by groups of Indians.
It must agree to apply certificates of genuineness only to such products as meet the standards of quality prescribed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board at the time of the application of the enterprise for the privilege of attaching the certificate.
It must agree to obtain the approval of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board as to the manner of production of the certificates.
Penalties for misuse of trade-marks
The use of Government trade-marks in an unauthorized manner, or the colorable imitation of such marks, is subject to the criminal penalties.
Any person who shall counterfeit or colorably imitate any Government trade-mark used or devised by the Board shall, or any person who shall knowingly make any false statement for the purpose of obtaining the use of any such Government trade-mark, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be enjoined from further carrying on the act or acts complained of and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
Revocation of privilege of attaching certificates
If an enterprise, after securing the privilege of attaching the certificates, should fail to meet the above-named conditions, the Board reserves the right to revoke the privilege.
How can an individual be certified as an Indian artisan?
The individual must be of Indian lineage of one or more members of such Indian tribe;
The certification must be documented in writing by the governing body of an Indian tribe or by a certifying body delegated this function by the governing body of the Indian tribe; and
A tribe may not impose a fee for certifying an Indian artisan.
How will statements about Indian origin of art or craft products be interpreted?
In general. The unqualified use of the term ``Indian'' or of the term ``Native American'' or the unqualified use of the name of an Indian tribe, in connection with an art or craft product, is interpreted to mean:
The maker is a member of an Indian tribe, is certified by an Indian tribe as a non-member Indian artisan, or is a member of the particular Indian tribe named; and
The art or craft product is an Indian product.
Products of Indians of foreign tribes:
In general. The unqualified use of the term ``Indian'' or of the term ``Native American'' or the unqualified use of the name of a foreign tribe, in connection with an art or craft product, regardless of where it is produced and regardless of any country-of-origin marking on the product, is interpreted to mean for purposes of this part that:
The maker is a member of an Indian tribe, is certified by an Indian tribe as a non-member Indian artisan, or is a member of the particular Indian tribe named;
The tribe is resident in the United States; and
The art or craft product is an Indian product.
Exception where country of origin is disclosed. This section does not apply to any art or craft for which the name of the foreign country of tribal ancestry is clearly disclosed in conjunction with marketing of the product.
Example. X is a lineal descendant of a member of Indian Tribe A. However, X is not a member of Indian Tribe A, nor is X certified by Indian Tribe A as a non-member Indian artisan. X may not be described in connection with the marketing of an art or craft product made by X as an Indian, a Native American, a member of an Indian tribe, a member of Tribe A, or as a non-member Indian artisan of an Indian tribe. However, the true statement may be used that X is of Indian descent, Native American descent, or Tribe A descent.
How are complaints filed?
Complaints about protected products alleged to be offered or displayed for sale or sold in a manner that falsely suggests they are Indian products should be made in writing and addressed to the Director, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Room 4004-MIB, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240. They now have a web site where complaints may also be submitted via the web: http://www.iacb.doi.gov/act.html
What penalties apply?
A person who offers or displays for sale or sells a good, with or without a Government trademark, in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States:
Is subject to the criminal penalties specified in section 1159, title 18, United States Code; and
Is subject to the civil penalties specified in section 305e, title 25, United States Code.
The Code of Federal Regulations is unclear as to whether or not the trade-mark they refer to is a trade-mark applied for through the Federal Trade Mark office in addition to the certificate or if the certificate is akin to a Federal Trade Mark for Indian Arts and Crafts purposes.