Collective mark is a mark used only by the members of an association, cooperative or other collective organization. A collective organization may include an association, union, cooperative, fraternal society or other organized groups. Like trademarks and service marks, collective marks may consist of words, names, designs, symbols or any combination thereof and require an application for registration under the Lanham Act/trademark law.
There are two types of collective marks:
A collective trademark or collective service mark is used by the members of a collective organization to identify its goods and services and to distinguish them from those of non-members. The collective itself does not offer goods or services under the mark, but may advertise goods and services bearing its mark.
A collective membership mark is a mark adopted to indicate membership in a collective group. It is not used to identify and distinguish the source or origin of goods or services; its sole function is to indicate that the person displaying the mark is a member of an organized collective group. For example, AAA® indicates membership in the American Automobile Association.
See also: 15 U.S.C. § 1127
[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]