Frequently Asked Questions  


What is a trademark or service mark? 

A trademark or service mark is a word, name, phrase, symbol or any combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes goods or services of one party from those of others. A trademark is a brand name. Rights in trademarks arise as a result of the use of the marks in commerce to identify the source or origin of goods and services. In addition, a trademark remains the property of the owner so long as the owner continues to use it properly and protect its authenticity as a trademark. 


What qualifies as a trademark, logo or symbol? 

Any mark, name, logo, symbol, nickname, abbreviation, word, mascot, slogan, uniform insignia or landmark that is associated with Alcorn State University and is distinguishable from any other university, team or organization. Please refer to the Identity Standards Manual and Editorial Stylebook. 


Who must be licensed? 

Any individual or company that wishes to receive Alcorn State University's express permission to use any or all of its trademarks/logos on products or for services sold in the marketplace, whether wholesale, retail or online. Other activities, such as some noncommercial use of trademarks/logos, may or may not need to be licensed. Some activity may constitute fair use or free speech so as not to require license. Advice in that regard should be sought from the Trademark and Licensing Coordinator.


What products cannot be licensed? 

Alcorn State University will not license an activity which it believes would disparage the university or any of its trademarks, or would be libelous, slanderous, harassing, or in violation of local, state or federal law or constitute an unfair trade practice.  Alcorn State reserves the right to refuse any license at any time for any reason, in its sole discretion.


How can you obtain a licensing application? 

You can obtain an application for a License Agreement directly from Strategic Marketing Affiliates. 


Does all artwork have to be submitted for approval? 

Yes. All art designs must be submitted and approved by the Trademark and Licensing Coordinator prior to merchandise being produced.


How are the Alcorn State University’s trademarks able to be used with other Trademarks (co-branding)?Any use of Alcorn State University marks with other trademarks must be approved by the Trademark and Licensing Coordinator or through a University contract.


How much does it cost to become licensed?The cost for a Standard License Agreement is:

  • $100 non-refundable application fee and
  • 10% royalty fee for Alcorn State University products.

Please refer to the Alcorn State University Strategic Marketing Affiliates website for more information.


If I am a student or from a department of Alcorn State University, do I need to ask permission to use a trademark? 

Yes. Student organizations and university departments must complete and submit the Internal Licensing Approval Form. It is important for Alcorn State University to protect its trademarks.


If the product is not going to be resold, does it have to be produced by a licensed vendor?Yes. All items bearing Alcorn State University marks must be produced by a Licensed Vendor whether they are for resale or not.


Are any requests exempt from royalties? 

Generally, items are subject to royalties; however, each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 


What does Alcorn State University do if unlicensed merchandise is discovered in the marketplace?Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit and subject to all available legal remedies.


How long do requests usually take to process? 

Typically, the review process is 2-5 university business days. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with Alcorn State University policies.


How can I obtain a list of licensees? 

A list of licensees can be obtained through Strategic Marketing Affiliates, the Licensed University Vendors page and the Trademark and Licensing Coordinator


Is it acceptable to alter an Alcorn State University Trademark? 

No. At no time can Alcorn State University’s Trademarks be altered.  Altering a mark would hurt its integrity and dilute the strength and value of Alcorn State University’s marks.  This action may be considered as trademark infringement and aggressive legal measures will be pursued to protect the university’s brand.