TMEP 1304.02(c): Identification of Nature of Collective Membership Organization

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1304.02(c)    Identification of Nature of Collective Membership Organization

The purpose of a collective membership mark is to indicate membership in an organization; therefore, an identification of goods or services would not be appropriate in connection with a collective membership mark. More accurate identification language would be "indicating membership in an organization (association, club, or the like)...," followed by a phrase indicating the nature of the organization or association, for example, "indicating membership in an organization of computer professionals" or "indicating membership in a motorcycle club."

The nature of an organization can be indicated by specifying the area of activity of its members (e.g., they may sell lumber, cosmetics, or food, or may deal in chemical products or household goods, or provide services as fashion designers, engineers, or accountants). If goods or services are not directly involved, the nature of an organization can be indicated by specifying the organization’s type or purpose (such as a service or social club, a political society, a trade association, a beneficial fraternal organization, or the like). Detailed descriptions of an organization’s objectives or activities are not necessary. It is sufficient if the identification indicates broadly either the field of activity as related to the goods or services, or the general type or purpose of the organization.