Offices

Trademark & Licensing Administration

The Trademarks and Licensing Program is administered under the Division of Administration and Finance’s Licensing Unit (DAFLU).  One of the most important functions of DAFLU is to protect and promote the indicia (marks, names and logos) of Alcorn State University. The Coordinator of Trademark and Licensing and the Vice President for Media Relations work closely and in partnership with Strategic Marketing Affiliate Licensing Company (SMA) to monitor commercial and internal use of ASU indicia.

Individuals, groups and organizations, both on and off campus, seeking to use any version of ASU indicia must have prior approval and the item must be purchased from an official SMA licensee. In addition, all vendors and groups must have their artwork approved prior to production. This also includes sale to University departments, campus organizations and recognized student organizations. Promotions and advertising are included as well.  All vendors who manufacture items imprinted with Alcorn State University trademarks (to the public or to ASU retail outlets) must be licensed.  See http://www.smaworks.com.

Whenever individuals or entities contract with ASU for goods or services request permission to use the Alcorn State University logos, trademarks, and word marks to imply or explicitly state a relationship or partnership with ASU, that request should be made through the Division of Administration and Finance Licensing Unit, and then it must be approved in writing by Media Relations. Approval is granted based upon each situation and the University’s name and/or marks may not be used in any way that could state or imply an endorsement.

In summary, the Trademark and Licensing program exists to:

        • Ensure proper use and application of the trademarks associated with ASU;
        • Initiate the development of new trademarks and/or eliminate old ones as it deems necessary or desirable, subject to approval;
        • Strengthen the trademarks through relationships with retailers, licensees, campus departments, student organizations, alumni and fans;
        • Enhance ASU’s marketing and brand recognition efforts by allowing licensed companies to use its trademarks on merchandise;
        • Generate revenue; and
        • Authorize the use of the marks on high quality and tasteful merchandise.

 

RESTRICTIONS

ASU reserves the right to prohibit use of its trademarks with certain issues, products and merchandise when used in conjunction with or making reference to:

        • Drugs or drug paraphernalia;
        • Alcohol, alcohol consumption and/or abuse;
        • Tobacco products and usage;
        • Sexual conduct, imagery, or inferences;
        • Profanity or inappropriate insensitive language;
        • Gambling;
        • Firearms and weapons;
        • Political and religious endorsement; and
        • Any other merchandise or use of the ASU’s logos and trademarks judged by the University’s Trademark and Licensing Program to be inappropriate, unacceptable or inconsistent with standard licensing practices of the University.

 

STRATEGIC MARKETING AFFILIATES (SMA)  

Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) is the licensing representative for the University. SMA is responsible for administering ASU’s licensing program, including processing applications, collecting royalties, enforcing trademarks and pursuing new market opportunities for the University.

 

VIOLATION REPORTS

To report a violation of licensing or trademark use, please contact the Division of Administration and Finance Licensing Unit at (601) 877-4705 or btsquare@alcorn.edu

 

PERMISSION PROCESS  

Before an individual or business may use Alcorn State University's marks, formal permission must be granted through a license agreement with Strategic Marketing Affiliates. A step-by-step guide for this purpose is located on SMA’s website at http://smaworks.com/Getting-a-License.aspx

If you should have any questions concerning the vendor license application, submit your questions to Strategic Marketing Affiliates by using the email address questions@smaworks.com or calling (317) 669-0808 for assistance.

A license must be obtained for use of any ASU trademark, image or photograph used on any product sold to the general public or to campus departments and organizations.

 

STUDENT AND CAMPUS USE

Prior to production and sale on campus of any merchandise that includes ASU’s marks, names, or logos, written approval by the Division of Administration and Finance Licensing Unit must be obtained.  Use of a University mark with an organization name implies association with the University. Therefore, only those student organizations that are officially recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA) and official campus departments are allowed to use ASU’s trademarks in conjunction with their organization's name.  Student groups may not sell on game days as the University Bookstore Contract governs licensed merchandise sales made on game days.

Any product bearing ASU’s trademarks or a specific departmental logo must be purchased from licensed manufacturers. Using an officially licensed company to manufacture a product ensures that the company has provided the correct product liability insurance and other documents. The University has many nationwide licensees and numerous in-state and locally licensed companies.

University departments and official student organizations may create or purchase items for internal use bearing the names, trademarks and logos of Alcorn State University. The design approval must be granted by DAFLU.  Registered student organizations, student sports teams, residence hall organizations and University departments may use Alcorn State University’s names, marks or logos.  Such use must reflect positively on the university, be produced by a licensed vendor of Alcorn State University and be pre-approved by the Division of Administration and Finance Licensing Unit.  The following guidelines apply to campus departments, groups, individuals, or student organizations:

 

        • Items for Resale: Alcorn State University-marked items that are purchased by any department, group, organization, or individual for resale to a general audience will be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be pre-approved in writing by DAFLU and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
        • Items for Use by Group Members Only: Alcorn State University-marked items that are purchased or produced by any department, campus organization or student group for use by its own members will not be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be pre-approved in writing by DAFLU and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier. 
        • Giveaway Items: Alcorn State University-marked items that are purchased or produced by any department, group, or individual for giveaway purposes will not be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be approved in writing in advance by DAFLU and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
        • Class Projects: Items produced as part of a class project will not require a license or payment of royalties. All such items, however, must have written approval for their production from DAFLU and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier. 

 

The University is not required to pay royalties to itself for purchases of services or products that are a necessity for faculty and staff to perform their jobs (i.e., equipment, services, uniforms, educational tools). However, the University attempts to avoid unfair competition with other retailers and service providers and therefore may not exempt itself from paying royalties on the purchase of goods that are to be resold to members or to the general public, regardless of the purpose of the sale.  Contact DAFLU Trademark and Licensing Coordinator to determine if royalty fees will apply.

 

 

INTERNAL APPROVAL PROCESS

Student organizations and University departments who wish to use Alcorn State University marks on apparel (such as t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, etc.), gift items (such as mugs, key chains, jewelry, etc.) and miscellaneous items (such as flags, signs, etc.) must follow these steps:

        • Download the Internal Licensing Approval Form from the DAFLU Trademark and Licensing webpage.
        • Contact the vendor you wish to use and create a proof of the artwork/product to be approved. All items with an Alcorn State University trademark (name, logo, etc.) must be manufactured by an Alcorn State University licensed vendor. The list can be downloaded from the DAFLU Trademark & Licensing webpage.
        • Complete the Internal Licensing Approval Form and email the form and a copy of the artwork/product proof to the ASU Trademark and Licensing Coordinator.
        • Once the artwork/product proof and approval form is received, the Trademark and Licensing Coordinator will review the submission. After the review has been completed, you will be contacted confirming if you are approved with no changes, if any changes are required or if the request has been denied along with an explanation. Typically, the review process is 2-5 University business days. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with ASU policies.
        • If the artwork/product proof is approved, the Licensing Coordinator contacts the vendor to finalize the design for submission on Strategic Marketing Affiliates’ “ Approvals on Demand ” website.  If your artwork/product proof is not approved but will be with corrective changes, you will receive an email clarifying the changes needed for approval. Should this occur, you have the option to redesign the artwork/product proof and start the approval process over. It is your responsibility to ensure the vendor makes the corrective changes and submits the design on Strategic Marketing Affiliates’ " Approvals on Demand " website.
If you are using University funds to purchase merchandise, utilize the established University procurement process to obtain a purchase order;

If you are using a grant account to purchase merchandise, obtain approval from the Office of Grants and Contracts prior to submitting the request.  

Approval to use ASU’s trademarks for any project does not constitute approval to use the trademark again, or in connection with any other item, or to change the design in any way. Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit and subject to all available legal remedies.

Should you have any questions about the process, contact the ASU Trademark and Licensing Coordinator.