5.2 TRADEMARK AND LICENSING ADMINISTRATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Alcorn State University Trademarks and Licensing Program is administered by the Division of Marketing and Communication Licensing Unit (DMCLU). One of the most important functions of DMCLU is to protect, promote and preserve the exclusive intellectual property rights of the university’s name, logos, slogans, colors, mascot name, trademarks, service marks and other indicia related to Alcorn, its programs and services, and its athletic teams (collectively, the “marks”).
The University owns all rights in the marks, and the marks may not be used for any purpose without the advance written permission of Alcorn. Such uses may include, but are not limited to, commercial use, advertising and promotion, marketing, product manufacture and sales, fund-raising, sponsorship, and services.
The vice president for Marketing and Communication and athletics works closely and in partnership with CLC Learfield IMG College (Learfield) to monitor commercial and internal use of the departments marks.
Individuals, groups and organizations, both on and off campus, seeking to use any version of the university’s marks must have prior approval and the item must be purchased from an official Learfield 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 alumni clubs and organizations. Promotions and advertising are included as well. All vendors who manufacture items imprinted with Alcorn State University marks (to the public or to Alcorn retail outlets) must be licensed. See www.learfieldlicensing.com.
Whenever individuals or entities contract with Alcorn for goods or services request permission to use the marks to imply or explicitly state a relationship or partnership with the University, that request should be in writing to the Division of Marketing and Communication ([email protected]) for approval. Approval is granted based upon each situation and the University’s 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 marks associated with Alcorn;
- Initiate the development of new marks and/or eliminate old ones as it deems necessary or desirable, subject to approval;
- Strengthen the marks through relationships with retailers, licensees, campus departments, student organizations, alumni and fans;
- Enhance Alcorn’s marketing and brand recognition efforts by allowing licensed companies to use its marks on merchandise;
- Generate revenue; and authorize the use of the marks on high quality and tasteful merchandise.
- Drugs or drug paraphernalia;
- Alcohol, alcohol consumption and/or abuse;
- Tobacco products and usage;
- Sexual conduct, imagery, or inferences;
- Profanity or inappropriate insensitive language;
- Firearms and weapons;
- Political and religious endorsement; and
- Any other merchandise or use of the marks judged by the University’s Trademark and Licensing Program to be inappropriate, unacceptable or inconsistent with standard licensing practices of the University.
5.2.2 CLC LEARFIELD IMG COLLEGE (LEARFIELD)
CLC Learfield IMG Collge (Learfield) is the licensing representative for the University. Learfield is responsible for administering Alcorn’s licensing program, including processing applications, collecting royalties, enforcing trademarks and pursuing new market opportunities for the University.
5.2.3 VIOLATION REPORTS
To report a violation of licensing or trademark use, please contact the Division of Marketing and Communication at (601) 877-6130 or [email protected].
5.2.4 PERMISSION PROCESS
Before an individual or business may use Alcorn State University’s marks, formal permission must be granted through a license agreement with CLC Learfield IMG College. A step-by-step guide for this purpose is located on Learfield’s website at www.learfield.com/business/learfield-licensing-partners/.
If you should have any questions concerning the vendor license application, submit your questions to CLC Learfield IMG College by calling (317) 669-0808 for assistance. A license must be obtained for use of any Alcorn marks, image or photograph used on any product sold to the general public or to campus departments and organizations.
5.2.5 STUDENT AND CAMPUS USE
Prior to production and sale on campus of any merchandise that includes Alcorn marks, written approval by the Division of Marketing and Communication 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 as student organizations by Alcorn and official campus departments are allowed to use marks 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 Alcorn’s marks 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 marks of Alcorn State University. Registered student organizations, sports teams (competitive and intramural) and University departments may use Alcorn marks. Such use must reflect positively on the Alcorn, be produced by a licensed vendor of the University and be pre-approved by the Division of Marketing and Communication.
The following guidelines apply to campus departments, groups, individuals, or student organizations:
- Items for Resale: Merchandise, products or items bearing Alcorn’s marks 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 the Division of Marketing and Communication and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
- Items for Use by Group Members Only (not for public sale): Merchandise, products or items bearing Alcorn’s marks 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 the Division of Marketing and Communication and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
- Promotional/Giveaway Items: Merchandise, products or items bearing Alcorn’s marks that are purchased or produced by any department, group, or individual for promotional/giveaway purposes will not be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be approved in writing in advance by the Division of Marketing and Communication 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 the Division of Marketing and Communication 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 DMCLU Trademark and Licensing coordinator by calling (601) 877-6130 to determine if royalty fees will apply.
5.2.6 INTERNAL APPROVAL PROCESS
Student organizations and University departments who wish to use Alcorn State University’s 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 Vendor Licensing Approval Form from the DMCLU 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 approved vendor/items list can be downloaded from the DMCLU Trademark & Licensing webpage.
- Complete the Internal Licensing Approval Form and email the form and a copy of the artwork/product proof to [email protected];
- Once the artwork/product proof and approval form is received, the Division of Marketing and Communication 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 7-10 University business days. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with Alcorn policies;
- If the artwork/product proof is approved, the vendor will be notified to finalize the design for submission on brandmanager360.com website. If your artwork/product proof is not approved but need 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 brandmanager360.com 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 Alcorn’s marks for any project does not constitute approval to use the marks 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.
The University will actively enforce its intellectual property rights against unauthorized uses of the marks that misappropriate or leverage the Alcorn’s reputation and goodwill, including in any manner that is likely to cause confusion as to the University’s affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship, approval, or otherwise.
Should you have any questions about the process, contact the Division of Marketing and Communication, (601) 877-6130 or [email protected].