T.M.E.P. § 1304.05
Who May Own Membership Mark

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1304.05 Who May Own Membership Mark

The owner of a collective membership mark is normally the collective organization whose members use the mark. The organization is usually an association, either incorporated or unincorporated, but is not limited to being an association and may have some other form.

A collective membership mark may be owned by someone other than the collective organization whose members use the mark, and the owner might not itself be a collective organization. An example is a business corporation that forms a club for persons meeting certain qualifications and arranges to retain control of the group and of the mark used by the members of the group. The corporation that has retained control over the use of the mark is the owner of the mark, and is entitled to apply to register the mark. In re Stencel Aero Engineering Corp., 170 USPQ 292 (TTAB 1971).