A dead trademark in the USPTO means that the trademark application or registration is no longer active. A USPTO trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) can easily reveal hundreds (if not thousands) of dead trademarks, many of which might have been dead for years or even decades. But why would a trademark be dead? In other words, what leads to a trademark application or registration becoming inactive?
A collective trademark is similar in some ways to a traditional trademark and is afforded the same protection from infringement and misappropriation under the law. Although they are far rarer than traditional trademarks, collective trademarks still play an important role in the marketplace and convey information to consumers that could affect their purchasing decisions and whether to do business with one product/service provider over another.
A certification mark serves a very different purpose than a traditional trademark (or service mark). Although certification marks aren’t nearly as common as trademarks, it’s still extremely important that businesses, organizations, and associations don’t ignore or overlook them when performing a federal trademark search to check the availability of a trademark for use with specific products or services. I strongly recommend reviewing my article titled “What is a Trademark?” before reading this article because it will give you some helpful background information about trademarks and the role they play in our everyday lives.
A collective membership mark differs greatly from a traditional trademark (or service mark). Collective membership marks are much rarer than trademarks and most individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations will never have to worry too much about them. Having said that, they still serve a very important purpose in our society and receive the same protections from infringement and misappropriation as traditional trademarks. Before continuing, I encourage you to review my What is a Trademark? article, which I think will help you better understand the information presented in this article.
Common law trademark rights are an extremely important concept in trademark law. In the United States, owners of common law trademark rights have significant protections against others who may seek to use a confusingly similar trademark to advertise and sell related products or services. These rights can be enforced in a court of law and monetary damages may be awarded to a trademark owner whose common law rights were found to have been violated by someone else.