A collective mark indicates either that goods or services are produced by members of a collective group or simply indicates membership in a particular group. There are two forms of collective marks:

  • Collective Trade (or Service) Marks: These are traditional marks in the sense that they do indicate origin, but are not as traditional in the sense that ownership of the mark is vested not in the producer or provider but in a group of which each producer or provider is a member.
  • Collective Membership Marks: These are completely nontraditional since they do not serve any origination function. It is only used to indicate membership.

Can you have a Certification Mark and a Collective Mark?

Yes. These marks tend to become coextensive when membership in the group is founded upon or relates in some way to certain standards relevant to quality or regional origin. For instance, a group of wine producers who base their membership requirements on regional location may obtain a collective mark indicating association with the group, but membership with the group inherently involves an identification of regional association. The mark they possess then acts as both a collective mark and a certification mark.

Are there Similar Restrictions on Collective Marks as with Certification Marks?

Unlike certification marks, there is no bar against use by the owner. For instance, a group may register its mark for use by members but also may apply the mark to its stationery, publications, or news releases.

Should I consult a Lawyer about my Trademark Issue?

The deadlines and regulations for trademark registration are detailed and strict. An attorney can help you meet all the deadlines and fulfill all the requirements. A trademark lawyer can also participate in on-going research to make certain no one else is using or diluting your trademark without your permission. Additionally, if you have an issue of trademark dilution or infringement, an attorney can guide you through the difficult and strict procedural requirements for litigation.