I have a question about the use of the CMI designation. There are two seperate certifications in the home inspection business that use the same designation letters. We have the Certified Master Inspector and the Certified Mold Inspector programs out there. Both use the letters CMI as a designation.

I have earned my Certified Mold Inspector designation and wish to use it in my advertising, but I do not want to mislead anyone by making it appear that I am a Certified Master Inspector. Any advise on how to deal with this?


CMI (Certified master Inspector) is a registered trademark and cannot be modified. Try spelling out the other one, or finding another abbreviation.

Sure about that?

notice that is abandoned and is classified by the USPTO as “dead”.

Also note that there are 53 “live” registrations of CMI for use in all sorts of industries.

Looks like it should be filed for again so that CMI’s can continue to use it

Wonder what went wrong


“NACHI Certified Mold Inspector” was a Trademark we filed It was denied as a Federal mark (as it probably should be) but we filed it anyway to establish our common law rights to the designation.

Hmmm, seems those searches that I linked to above expire after a few minutes.

Anyway if one goes to the USPTO web site and searches for CMI they will find 53 live registrations of those letters for use in a wide variety of industries and applications. So using CMI for mold inspections is likely not in conflict with using CMI for home inspections. And for some reason Nick’s registration of CMI expired on 2/7/2007 and is now classified as “dead”. I’m sure it could be renewed.

Our fully registered Federal Certification mark (much more than just a Trademark) “Certified Master Inspector” protects it’s own acronym within the inspection industry. A “CMI” is a “Certified Master Inspector.”

So, would this not be “NCMI”?

I spell out Certified Master Inspector and Certified Mold Inspector. All of my certification titles are spelled out most of the time. If home inspectors barely know what it means, how do you expect the consumer to.

I spell out Certified Master Inspector and Certified Mold Inspector. All of my certification titles are spelled out most of the time. If home inspectors barely know what it means, how do you expect the consumer to.

The trademark system works pretty well. The USPTO doesn’t want to eliminate the use of all acronyms, so it protects them within industries only. For instance, you can use IBM, but it couldn’t be within the computer industry because there already exists International Business Machines. You could use the IBM acronym for Institute of Building Maintenance though. Just like you could start an Apple car company.

This is why it was required that we grant the do-nothing association out of Minneapolis the right to use CRI. They didn’t have it because their acronym was misspelled for their Certified Real Estate Inspector designation. Real Estate is two words. We had Certified Residential Inspector and so had rights to use its own acronym, CRI. Just like we do CMI.

Certified Mold Inspector is not registered and so enjoys no trademark protection and so use of CMI by someone claiming to be a Certified Mold Inspector would be a mark infringement on the protected, registered, Federal certification mark “Certified Master Inspector” especially in lieu of the fact that Certified Mold Inspector is not registered, is only one word different than Certified Master Inspector, and is within the same industry.

Word Mark CMIGoods and Services(ABANDONED) IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: A professional designation certification mark for home inspection services which is issued to those who have completed requirements for the Certified Master Inspector (CMI) designation. FIRST USE: 19900401. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19900401Standard Characters Claimed****Mark Drawing Code(4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARKSerial Number78354722Filing DateJanuary 21, 2004Current Filing Basis1AOriginal Filing Basis1AOwner(APPLICANT) Nick Gromicko INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 518 Kimberton Road Phoenixville PENNSYLVANIA 19460Assignment RecordedASSIGNMENT RECORDEDPrior Registrations2892104Type of MarkSERVICE MARKRegisterPRINCIPALLive/Dead IndicatorDEADAbandonment DateFebruary 2, 2007

According to the USPTO it’s dead. Does it need to be refiled?

“Certified Master Inspector” is a live trademark. “CMI” is dead as are all the uses of “Certified Mold Inspector”. I can’t see how using CMI as an abbreviation of Certified Mold Inspector would be a legal problem but them I’m not a lawyer.

Ron, someone who is not a Certified Master Inspector using CMI, which is the acronym for the protected, registerd, Federal certification mark “Certified Master Inspector” in the inspection industry (they could use CMI to describe “Cookies Made Instantly” or something in another industry) would be infringing on our Mark.

Certified Mold Inspector has no trademark protection, nor does someone using it to justify infringing on our mark through a deceptively similar (actually the exact) acronym of a registered mark within the inspection industry.

I am a NACHI member.

I am not a Certified Master Inspector.

I am a Certified Mold Inspector.

Would you allow me to refer to myself as a “CMI”? I think not. Correct?


I do not own International Business Machines (IBM).

I instead start International Business Machinery.

Can I call my company “IBM”? I think not.


Why is the CMI federally registered certicfication mark coming up as dead at the USPTO?

Most infringements are not exact copies, but rather deceptively similarities in some way.

Joe: Because CMI was too deceptively similar to an existing, registered Federal Certification mark out there… that being “Certified Master Inspector.”

The USPTO will not issue a mark if it infringes on an existing registered mark.