The Trademark Licensing Program is administered through the department of University Marketing and the division of University Relations and Marketing.
All individuals, organizations, non-profits and companies are required to obtain approval before using any of the university’s indicia. This includes all names or logos that are trademarks of the university. As defined by the US Patents & Trademarks Office, "a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others." Indicia may also include any use of university color schemes in combination with facts or wording that implies an association with the university. A trademark does not need to be registered in order to protect the rights to it. Simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.
In order to use the university's marks, a vendor must enter into a licensing agreement with Oregon State. A license is a written legal agreement between the trademark owner (licensor) and the manufacturer (licensee). This license must be in place before use of the marks.
OSU has partnered with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to help manage the program. CLC is a full-service licensing and marketing company, assisting collegiate institutions in protecting, managing and developing their brands. Applicants must apply for a license for Oregon State through CLC. If an application is approved, rights will be granted for a specific product category and distribution channel.
There are four different types of licensing agreements available:
The Standard License is intended for companies that are capable of extensive production and retail distribution of their product(s) and/or are introducing a unique and commercially viable product to the collegiate market. The Standard License is usually not for first-time applicants or companies without well-established marketing plans, existing product distribution, and/or a solid financial history of selling licensed products. We highly recommend that Standard License applicants provide as much detailed information as possible in their application to improve the likelihood of acceptance by the institutions. This is the most challenging and expensive type of license to pursue.
The Local License is for companies that desire to obtain a license with an institution located in their immediate in-state marketplace. This license type may better suit companies that do not believe they can qualify for a Standard License, but believe they can demonstrate sales success within a few years at the local level in order to qualify. Local Licensees are permitted to sell product to institutions and their departments, retailers, and directly to consumers. A Local Licensee cannot be upgraded to Standard status until licensed for at least one full year as a Local Licensee. This license type is the next easiest and more inexpensive to pursue compared to the Standard License, but geographic restrictions do exist.
The Internal Campus Supplier (ICS) License is for companies that wish to produce items used by institutions for internal use only. ICS Licensees are not permitted to sell product(s) to retailers, direct to consumers, to nonexempt institutional departments, or to any entities unrelated to an institution. Official institution entities include athletic departments, alumni departments, recognized student groups/organizations, etc. This is generally the easiest and least costly license to pursue, but there are limitations on this license.
The Premium License is for companies or manufacturers that wish to produce products used as premium items. A product is considered a premium item when it is used to increase the sales of another product, increase a company's brand recognition or further a company's association with a university. Premium items may or may not be co-branded and include, but are not limited to, the following:
The process to obtain a license is separated into three phases. The entire process typically takes 8-12 weeks but may take longer depending on the length of time an applicant takes to fulfill each requirement.
In Phase I of the application process, applicants will be required to:
CLC reviews all of the materials and makes a recommendation to Oregon State. The Licensing Program further evaluates each application and will either approve or deny the request. Decisions are primarily based on, but not limited to, the marketing and distribution plan, the uniqueness of the product and the number of vendors already licensed for the requested product category.
If the application is approved, applicants will be required to:
Phase III finalizes the application process. Applicants will be required to:
The following tables estimate the annual costs for obtaining and holding a license through CLC for Oregon State. The actual costs may vary depending on the circumstances.
Application Fees: The one-time application fee will not be refunded.
Administrative Fees: A CLC Administrative Fee is not charged during the first year as a licensee but will be applied upon renewal each year thereafter.
Advance Fees: Advance Fees are used a prepaid credit balance against future royalties due. Unused prepaid balances serve as royalty payments and do not carry over from year to year. Advance Fees vary depending on the product category.
Logos on Demand: Logos on Demand is CLC’s digital artwork distribution program which provides subscribers with production ready digital logo sheets. Standard and Local licensees must purchase an annual subscription.
OLCP Holograms: Standard and Local Licensees are required to place Officially Licensed Collegiate Product (OLCP) Holograms on all products.
Product Liability Insurance: All licensees are required to carry between $1 million and $5 million of product liability insurance. Cost can vary depending on insurance agent/provider.