Standards Setting Organizations and Trademark Registration: An Empirical Analysis
13 Pages Posted: 20 May 2019
Date Written: May 10, 2019
The paper presents an empirical analysis of the trademark registration practices of 40 standards setting organizations. Key observations and conclusions include: (a) every organization had submitted a registration application with the USPTO, and all but four had active registered marks, suggesting that trademarks play an important role for SSOs; (b) nearly all SSOs appear to be emphasizing their organization name as a de facto “house mark” (although none appear to formally apply for “house mark” status with the USPTO); (c) classes 9, 35 and 42 appear to be particularly important for SSOs – and the dominance of class 9 suggests that software is playing a key role in standardization; (d) despite frequently engaging in “certification,” SSOs infrequently rely on certification marks; (e) SSOs appear to make little use of collective membership marks; and (e) SSOs display a striking diversity of approaches to trademark registration.
Keywords: Standards Setting Organizations, SSOs, SDOs, trademarks
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