Trademark Basics

What is a trademark or a service mark? 

As defined by the US Patent and Trademark Office, "A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services."

What trademarks does Oregon State own?

The university claims ownership and all right, title and interest in and to its indicia, which includes trademarks, service marks, trade names, designs, logos, seals, symbols, mascots, slogans and any other indicia that is associated with or refers to the university. Indicia may also include use of the university's color scheme in combination with facts or wording that implies an association with the university. 

Marks are registered with USPTO and the State of Oregon. Registration at the State or Federal level is not required for the university to claim rights in its indicia.

Why does Oregon State care who uses the Marks? 

The university must control and monitor use of its indicia to avoid loss or dilution in the marketplace. 

Who needs a license? 

All individuals, organizations, non-profits and companies are required to obtain approval before using any of the university's indicia. 

Are any sales exempt from royalties?

Licensed vendors do not pay royalties on products sold to a campus department or student group for internal use and paid for out of a department budget.

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. 

What should I do if I find unlicensed merchandise? 

Please contact Trademark Licensing. 

Campus Departments and Student Groups

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? 

Campus departments and student groups must obtain approval before using any of the university's indicia on items used for internal use. A licensed vendor must be used and the design must be approved by Trademark Licensing. 

Can students, individuals or businesses sell products associated with the university’s names/marks/logos on campus?

Sales of any product related to the university are prohibited on campus with the exception of the OSU Beaver Store and Oregon State Athletic venues. This includes products sold by campus departments or student groups for fundraising purposes. 

May students, faculty, staff, alumni or fans use OSU marks on personal Web sites and other personal items?

These requests are reviewed on a case by case basis. Permission must first be obtained before using any university indicia. Please contact Trademark Licensing. 

Third-Party Use

May a business, corporation or outside entity advertise using Oregon State's Marks?

A business must gain prior approval before using university indicia for commercial or promotional purposes. Please contact Beaver Sports Properties to learn more about advertising and marketing opportunities. 

Beaver Sports Properties
(541) 737-8360

May a business, corporation or outside entity use Oregon State's Marks in their name or as interior design?

A business may not use university indicia in their name, website, URL or social media accounts without written permission from the university. 

Businesses are encouraged to purchase officially licensed products to decorate their office or store. Painting or recreating university indicia is not permitted. Marks may also not be used in any way that could state or imply an endorsement. For more information contact Trademark Licensing. 

May public or private schools use any of Oregon State's marks as their mascot on uniforms, buildings, stadiums or for booster club fundraisers?

Oregon State does have a program that allows for public or private schools to use select Oregon State marks. Requests are reviewed on a case by case basis and there are guidelines regarding how the marks may be used. For more information please contact the Trademark Licensing.