A collective trademark is made up of letter, words, designs, names, etc. It is a trademark owned by an organization such as an association, and it is only used by its members. Collective trademarks help in identifying the level of quality, geographical origin. It also indicates the individual source of goods or services. Collective trademark is open for use to variety of traders and not just one individual, provided, the trader is the member of the organization. Functions are:
1. To inform the public about certain features of the product for which collective trademark is used.
2. They promote products which have a geographical origin, by this the product not only gets a domestic recognition, also, it gains international recognition.
3. It is also helps in differentiating one product from another.
i) The mark used by the members, and
ii) The mark used by those registered by a cooperative or association.
‘Collective trademark’ has been defined under section. 2(1)(g) of the Trade Marks Act,1999. It says, it is a trademark distinguishing the goods or services of members of an association of persons (not being a partnership with the meaning of the Indian Partnership Act,1932) which is the proprietor of the marks from those of others.
The regulations under rule 128 should include:
a) The name of the association of persons and their respective office addresses.
b) The object of the association,
c) The details of the member,
d) The conditions of membership and relation of each member with group.
e) Conditions governing the use of the mark including sanctions.
f) The procedure for dealing with appeals against the use of collective marks.
1. The persons authorized to use the mark,
2. The conditions of membership of the association,
3. Conditions of non use of the mask, and
4. Sanctions against misuse.
Section 62 of Trade Marks Act, 1999, deals with the registration of collective trademark.
The two essential components are-
1. A collective mark shall not be registered if it is likely to deceive or cause confusion to the public;
2. If it is likely to be taken to be something other than a collective mark and the registrar may require that the mark in respect of which application is made for registration comprise some indication that it is a collective mark.
Section 64 provides that if it appears to the registrar that the requirements for registration are satisfied, he shall accept the application together with the regulations, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions including amendments of the said regulations, if any, as he may deem fit or refuse it and if accepted, shall notify the regulations. Section 65 provides that the regulations shall be open to public inspection in the same way as the registrar as provided in section 148.
Section 68 explains the grounds of removal of registration of collective mark-
1. The manner in which the collective mark has been used has caused it to mislead the public as a collective mark, or
2. Grounds of non-use of the mark, under section 47.
Saving for words used as name or description of an article, under section 36.
Section 67 provides that in a suit for infringement instituted by the registered proprietor of a collective mark as plaintiff the court shall take into account any loss suffered or likely to be suffered by authorized users and may give such directions as it thinks fit as to the extent to which the plaintiff shall hold the proceeds of any pecuniary remedy of such authorized users.
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