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Q: CMT: who can use these intials? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: CMT: who can use these intials?
Category: Health
Asked by: anisoptera-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 26 Jan 2003 12:50 PST
Expires: 25 Feb 2003 12:50 PST
Question ID: 148824
Is "Certified Medical Technician" or "CMT" a reserved, or trademarked
by any professional association or any states or the federal

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 26 Jan 2003 15:33 PST
Hello anisoptera-ga,

I have done a search for “Certified Medical Technician” and “CMT” at
the Federal level. Since individual states can also have trademark
registrations I would like to know if you require this information for
a specific state as well.


Clarification of Question by anisoptera-ga on 26 Jan 2003 16:12 PST
I have been told that "CMT" only means Certified Medical Technician
and that some organization or goverment body would sue if some one
used CMT.

The confusion occurs because in  states that do not have regulation
for Massage Therapy, many use "CMT" to give themselves more
credibilty.  However the massage CMT's have not passed any nationally
recognized test nor have been recognized by any state agency.

Can anyone just decide to use "CMT"?
Subject: Re: CMT: who can use these intials?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 26 Jan 2003 17:39 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Anisoptera-ga, and thank you for a challenging, and fairly
nuanced question.

I have answered your question below, but first, I'd like to begin with
two important caveats:

1. I don't consider this question to be fully answered until you are
satisfied with the results. If any part of my answer is not clear, or
needs elaboration, please use the "Request Answer Clarification"
button to ask for further information before rating this answer.

2.  I am not a lawyer.  Although I am confident about the information
I have provided you, I would certainly suggest contacting a lawyer to
have the full benefit of a professional legal response.

As to your question about the use of the phrase "certified medical
technician", this is a term of art that is in use, and you would be
ill-advised to use this specific term in any capacity if you were not,
in fact, a "certified medical technician" with training from a
recognized institution.

However, I believe the real focus of your question had to do with use
of the phrase "CMT".  Once again, the answer is that CMT is indeed
protected by certain aspects of intellectual property law, but that
does not mean you cannot make use of it for your own purposes.

Laws protecting trademarks, service marks, and the like are designed
to prevent a reasonable person from being confused as to the identity
of a particular good or service.  One person can call the service they
provide "ABC News" and another can call their service "ABC Plumbing"
and there's no real conflict -- most people can be expected to
understand the difference between the two.

There's a nice writeup on the basic principles of trademarks, etc. at
this site:

Have a look at the "Trademark Topics" links ("What is a Mark?", etc.)
for a good overview.

In actual fact, the CMT combination of letters is used by a fair
number of people in a fair number of different settings.  For

Country Music Television --

CMT woodworking tools --

Corvallis Microtechnology --

and so on and so on.  There are thousands of them!  

Some of the uses of CMT are very close to the "Certified Medical
Technician" term you inquired about, such as:

Certified Medical Transcriptionist

Certified Member Trainer

Computer Maintenance Technician

Certified Music Therapist

Certified Maintenance Technician 

and of course... 

Certified Massage Therapist

As a matter of fact, a Google search on "Certified Massage Therapist"
(with the quotes) yields 10,600 hits, whereas a similar search on
"Certified Medical Technician" results in only 222 hits!  If anyone
should be concerned about encroaching on a recognized use, it should
be the medical-CMTs.

Bottom line, there is no need to worry about stepping on the toes of
other professions by using CMT to indicate "certified massage
therapist".  Having said that, though, I do want to advise you to
proceed carefully.  Each state (or county or city) can have its own
requirements about using terms like "certified" to describe work being
done.  You should inquire with local licensing authorities to make
sure you are staying within bounds of local rules.

Well, I hope that answers your question, but like I said, feel free to
request clarification.  I doubt if I'll write anymore tonight,
however.  To tell you the truth, I can use a good massage (from a CMT,
of course).

Request for Answer Clarification by anisoptera-ga on 27 Jan 2003 07:43 PST
This not a request for a clarification but I realized I responded to
the wrong reseacher.

This is what I meant to say to you.

Thanks pafalaga-ga, this clears things up for me by showing how
muddy the issue is.
Go get that massage soon.  You can find a qualified massage therapist
in your area by going to and look at their locator
service. The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest
professional massage therapy association.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 27 Jan 2003 07:47 PST
Thanks for the suggestion...and for the nice rating.  It's always appreciated.
anisoptera-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: CMT: who can use these intials?
From: aceresearcher-ga on 26 Jan 2003 17:53 PST

In fact, in many states, "Certified Massage Therapist" is indeed a
"reserved" term which may only be used by those meeting specific
licensing and training requirements as specified by that state's
medical licensing Board. Persons using this appellation in such states
may face severe legal penalties and sanctions for doing so, if they do
not meet the requirements specified by the state's medical licensing

"It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to:
7. Claim to be, on and after July 1, 1997, a certified massage
therapist or massage therapist or use any designation tending to imply
that he is a massage therapist or certified massage therapist unless
he is certified under the provisions of this chapter."


Subject: Re: CMT: who can use these intials?
From: anisoptera-ga on 27 Jan 2003 07:40 PST
Thanks acereasearcher, this clears things up for me by showing how
muddy the issue is.

Go get that massage soon.  You can find a qualified massage therapist
in your area by going to and look at their locator
The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest not-for-profit
professional massage therapy association.
Subject: Re: CMT: who can use these intials?
From: bej23-ga on 21 Feb 2005 20:59 PST
CMT also stands for Certified Medical Transcriptionist, a designation
from the AAMT (American Association of Medical Transcription).  Their
website is at

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