Frequently Asked Questions
What is a trademark or service mark?
Why does NAU care who uses its trademarks or how?
A trademark is
generally a name, word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof,
that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or product of one
party from those of others. A service mark is the same
as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a
service rather than goods. By
registering trademarks or service marks, either at a state or federal level, a
company or organization establishes the rights to exclusive use of their
indicia (name, logos, graphics, marks, etc.) and limits or prohibits use by
others. Throughout informational
materials about NAU’s University Trademark Licensing Program, the terms “trademark”
and “mark” refer to both trademarks and service marks.
When should I use the trademark symbols TM or ®?
NAU must control and monitor the use of its trademarks or risk losing the
right to use them as unique identifiers of Northern Arizona University. NAU has a compelling interest in controlling
the use of its trademarks for other reasons as well. These include, but are not
- Protecting NAU’s name and ensuring that
its use, across all units of the university, is compatible with the
Northern Arizona University’s goodwill and reputation
- Ensuring that any products or services bearing
NAU trademarks are of high quality and are used tastefully and only in
connection with products and services with which the institution has
chosen to be identified
- Preventing misleading or inaccurate
portrayals of NAU’s relationship to others or to activities, and
preventing others from taking advantage of the goodwill the institution
has developed and which is symbolized by its trademarks
- Ensuring products and services bearing
NAU’s trademarks protect the integrity and reputation of the institution,
maintain and build upon the goodwill of the institution, and promote
support for and increase awareness of the institution, its mission and
What is a license to produce NAU products?
The ® and ™ symbols provide public notice of
exclusive ownership of the related word or symbol. The ™ symbol is recognized as an abbreviation
for “trademark” and should be used for words, symbols, artwork, etc. that give
reference to Northern Arizona University. The ™ symbol is included in conjunction with NAU marks and verbiage to
express the university’s intent of exclusive ownership over those indicia. The ® symbol denotes that the word, symbol or
image is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
These symbols must be used on all items,
regardless of distribution method or intended use, whether for internal or
external use, including but not limited to:
- Clothing, uniforms and other apparel
- Novelties, gifts, plaques, awards and other
- Pens, keychains, water bottles, tote bags or
other giveaway items
Only NAU’s primary vertical institutional mark is
federally registered with the USPTO and requires the ® symbol. Other marks and verbiage require use of the ™
Print- or web-based material produced by the
university for the purpose of official university business (letterhead,
business cards, brochures, etc.) may omit the symbols. However, when space allows, the following
disclaimer should appear, “The words “Northern Arizona University” and
the identifying marks used on this document are official trademarks of Northern
Arizona University and may not be reproduced without express written permission
of the university.”
guidance, contact the University Trademark Licensing Director. Exceptions for omission of the trademark
symbols granted by the Licensing Director are offered on a case-by-case basis
and do not constitute a change in policy.
Who needs a license?
A license to produce NAU products is an agreement that is formed between
the university, its licensing agent, CLC, and the company producing products
bearing the marks of NAU.
How do I become a licensee?
All vendors or manufacturers wishing to produce
items including NAU trademarks, regardless of distribution method or intended
use, are required to obtain a license with NAU’s licensing agency, Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC).
NAU departments, groups, and registered student
organizations may not assign rights or otherwise grant permission to any other
entity for use of NAU’s trademarks for any purpose without prior review and
approval by NAU’s Trademark Licensing Director.
Who qualifies as a licensee?
If you are interested in obtaining a license to produce
merchandise with NAU trademarks, contact:
The Collegiate Licensing
1075 Peachtree Street, Suite 3300
Atlanta, GA 30309
for an online application
What companies can produce NAU Merchandise?
A licensee is a company producing a product with NAU trademarks/logos who
has been given permission to do so, via attainment of a license with Collegiate
Licensing Company (CLC) for Northern Arizona University.
What is the licensing process?
Download a list of Internal Campus
Suppliers (coming soon) (items for internal use
only, not for resale)
Download a list of Local Licensees (coming soon) (items for internal use, or for
Download a list of licensees by product
category (coming soon)
Are campus departments or student groups 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.)?
NAU trademark licensing evaluates each product idea, and the office must
grant approval of the completed product and designs before any merchandise can
be produced for retail sale. This process ensures that every product bearing
the marks of Northern Arizona University will be of a high quality, and
protects all parties, including the university, from future liability.
Can students, individuals or businesses sell products associated with the university’s names/marks/logos on campus, on game days or otherwise?
Yes, in order for the
university to maintain and protect its value, permission must be obtained from the
University Trademark Licensing Director and a licensed vendor must be used. For
more information please see University Guidelines and Procedures (coming soon).
Are any sales exempt from royalties?
Sales of any product
related to the university are prohibited on campus with the exception of the NAU
Does an individual or vendor need to be licensed if they are not using trademarked logos/names/marks owned by the university?
Licensed vendors do not pay
royalties on products being sold to a campus department for internal use and
paid for out of a department budget.
May students, faculty, staff, alumni or fans use NAU marks on personal Web sites and other personal items?
Yes. If a product uses the
university’s colors, facts or words that imply an association with the
university, that product must be approved and the vendor selling the product
must be licensed by the university.
How can I tell if a product is officially licensed?
These requests will be
reviewed on a case by case basis. Permission must first be obtained before
using any Northern Arizona University mark.
How does NAU respond to trademark infringement?
merchandise will include an “Officially Licensed Collegiate Product” 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.
What is the Collegiate Licensing Company?
When necessary, NAU aggressively pursues infringement through legal
channels, including, but not restricted to, letters of “cease and desist” and
lawsuits. Suspected trademark infringement should be reported immediately to the
University Trademark Licensing Director. Please include photos when possible or the URL
if the image has been used on the internet.
**Report inappropriate use or possible
The Collegiate Licensing Company is the licensing representative/agent
for NAU. As the university’s
representative, CLC is responsible for administering the licensing program,
including processing licensing applications, collecting and distribution royalty
payments, enforcing trademarks, and pursuing new market opportunities for the
The Collegiate Licensing Company
1075 Peachtree Street, Suite 3300
Atlanta, GA 30309