A collective mark
is a type of trade mark
which serves to distinguish the goods or services of members of an association which is the owner of the mark, from those of other undertakings.
Collective marks are exceptions to the underlying principle of trade marks in that most trade marks serve as "badges of origin" - they indicate the individual source of the goods or services. A collective mark, however, can be used by a variety of traders, rather than just one individual concern, provided that the trader belongs to the association.
Examples of a collective mark include:
- the mark "CA", used to indicate members of the Society of Chartered Accountants;
- the mark "CPA", used to indicate members of the Society of Certified Practicing Accountants;
- the marks of various confederated lobby groups.
Various jurisdictions have been required to amend their intellectual property
legislation to provide protection for collective marks pursuant to the requirements of TRIPs