What is a trademark?
As defined by the US Patents & Trademarks Office, “a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” A trademark need not be registered in order to have protectible rights to it, simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.
What is a trademark license?
A license is a written legal agreement between the owner of the trademark (licensor) and a manufacturer/vendor (licensee). The licensor grants permission to the licensee to affix the licensor’s trademark(s) on a product(s). This license must be in place before use of the marks.
What are the benefits of a licensing program?
A licensing program exists to protect the name and marks of the University and to enhance the image of the University through the signing of licensing agreements authorizing the use of the marks on high quality and tasteful merchandise. It is also the responsibility of the office to insure that the University receives the appropriate commercial value for the use of its trademarks.
Who must be licensed?
Anyone or any business/organization wishing to use the University’s trademarks or verbiage on any product must have a license before offering the product/goods for sale. This also includes sale to University departments, campus organizations and student recognized organizations. Premiums, promotions and advertising are included as well.
What if my item is a publication or brochure that I wish to use the University’s trademarks on?
The trademarks of the University may not be used on publications, brochures, advertising or miscellaneous print material without permission from the University.
How do I obtain a license?
The University partners with the Collegiate Licensing Company to represent their licensing program. Please contact them directly at:
The Collegiate Licensing Company
290 Interstate North: Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 956-0520
Fax: (770) 955-4491
Are Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) or campus departments required to obtain permission to use the University names/marks/logos on items used as giveaways, fundraisers or for internal use (shirts for staff, plaques, etc.)?
Yes, in order for the University to maintain and protect its value, a licensed vendor must be used.
May students, faculty, staff, alumni or fans use University marks on personal Web sites?
Yes, this is permissible as long as no items are being sold, it is not a commercial site and the site is used to support the University in a positive manner. However, there are exceptions and permission must first be requested by filling out a Web Permission Form.
Who needs to use a licensed vendor?
If your order will include a University mark in the design, it must be purchased from a licensed vendor.
If you wish to use someone that is not on the list, please contact Licensing and Trademarks for assistance.
How can I tell if a product is officially-licensed?
Look for the Officially-Licensed Collegiate label or hologram. This label assures you that the merchandise on which they are affixed has been approved for sale by the University and CLC. For more information about the CLC Hologram program, please go to Logos On Demand.
May a business, corporation or outside entity use the name or marks of the University in their name or as interior design?
The University’s policy does not allow its marks to be used for commercial and promotional advertising purposes without prior approval; this approval is granted based upon each situation. The University’s name and/or marks may also not be used in any way that could state or imply an endorsement, such as with political candidates. The marks/names/logos may not be used as part of a business name or within the interior design of a business and its building and/or location without prior approval. Approval is not always granted for any of the above uses.
If you did not find your answer in our FAQ, please contact the Licensing and Trademarks staff with your specific question.