TMEP 1304.03(c): Likelihood of Confusion

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1304.03(c)    Likelihood of Confusion

Likelihood of confusion may arise from the contemporaneous use, by one party, of a collective membership mark on the one hand and a trademark or service mark on the other. The same standards used to determine likelihood of confusion between trademarks and service marks also apply to collective membership marks. See 15 U.S.C. §1052(d); In re Nat’l Novice Hockey League, Inc., 222 USPQ 638 (TTAB 1984); Allstate Life Ins. Co. v. Cuna Int’l, Inc., 169 USPQ 313 (TTAB 1971), aff’d, 487 F.2d 1407, 180 USPQ 48 (C.C.P.A. 1973).

The finding of likelihood of confusion between a collective membership mark and a trademark or service mark is not based on confusion as to the source of any goods or services provided by the members of the collective organization. Rather, the question is whether relevant persons are likely to believe that the trademark owner’s goods or services emanate from, are endorsed by, or are in some way associated with the collective organization. In re Code Consultants Inc., 60 USPQ2d 1699, 1701 (TTAB 2001).