The function of a collective mark is to guarantee the origin, nature or quality of a product or a service.
In this post we talk about:
The collective mark in Italy
Article 2570 of the Italian Civil Code provides that:
“The subjects who perform the function of guaranteeing the origin, nature or quality of goods or services can get the registration of collective marks to grant the use, under the rules of the respective regulations, to producers or traders”.
Same concept is expressed in Article 11 of the Italian Industrial Property Code, which in the second paragraph specifies the following:
“The regulations concerning the use of collective marks, checks and penalties should be filed together with the application for registration; changes of regulation must be communicated by the holders to the Italian Patent and Trademark Office to be included among the documents attached to the trademark application”.
Ownership of the collective mark
It is not a single subject to be able to use collective mark, as in the case of the individual mark, as this kind of mark involves many subjects who are entitled to use the mark, as they act in compliance with the regulation of the collective mark. It is a type of brand that guarantees the quality of products coming from different manufacturers and not from a single company, as in the case of the individual brand. Therefore, the application for a collective mark must be filed together with a regulation concerning the use of the mark, the controls and the penalties for non-compliance with the regulation.
The owner of the collective mark shall carry out checks in order to verify thath the subjects authorized to use the collective mark are acting in compliance with the regulation governing use of the mark. The omission of the controls causes the revocation of the mark.
Geographic collective mark
A geographical name can also become a collective mark, provided that the registration does not “create situations of unjustified privilege, or be detrimental to the development of other similar initiatives in the area” (Article 11, 4 of the Italian Industrial Property Code). Furthermore, according to the same provision, “the registration of the collective mark consisting of a geographic name does not entitle its owner to forbid third parties the use of the same geographical name, provided that its use complies with the principles of professional integrity”.
An example of a collective geographical brand is Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo®
Collective mark of the European Union
With regard to the European Union trademark, the ownership of collective marks is reserved exclusively to public entities and associations of manufactures, producers, suppliers of services, or traders, in accordance with article 74, 1) of the EUTM Regulation n. 2017/1001:
“A European Union collective mark shall be a European Union trademark which is described as such when the mark is applied for and is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the members of the association which is the proprietor of the mark from those of other undertakings. Associations of manufacturers, producers, suppliers of services, or trademarks which, under the terms of the law governing them, have the capacity in their own name to have rights and obligations of all kinds, to make contracts or accomplish other legal acts and to sue and be sued, as well as legal persons governed by public law, may apply for European Union collective marks”.