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Licensing FAQs

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word(s), logo or package design, or a combination of them, used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify its goods and distinguish them from others. (Borchard, "A Trademark is Not a Copyright or a Patent," 2002)

What is Trademark Licensing?

Trademark licensing is a contractual relationship under which a trademark owner grants another the right to use a mark, subject to terms of the contract.  Trademark licensing does not transfer ownership of the mark.  (CLC, "Licensing Basics," 2003)

Who is responsible for the Trademark Licensing Program at UNCG?

  • Tim George
    Associate AD of External Operations
    UNCG Athletics
    1408 Walker Avenue
    337 HHP Building
    Greensboro, NC, 27402-6168

What is the Collegiate Licensing Company?

The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is the licensing representative for UNCG. CLC is responsible for administering the licensing program, including processing applications, collecting royalties, enforcing trademarks and pursuing new market opportunities.  More information can be found on the CLC web site.

What qualifies as a UNCG trademark, logo, or symbol?

Any mark, logo, symbol, nickname, letter(s), word(s) or combination of these that can be associated with the University qualifies as a trademark. For a complete list of University logos and usage guidelines visit our University Brand Guide page.

What is the difference between ®, "TM", and "SM"?

The symbol "TM" stands for trademark.  The symbol "SM" stands for service mark.  Both of these are informal symbols that indicate you claim common law trademark rights to a name or logo.  These two symbols are used prior to obtaining full federal registration. 

The symbol ®, the phrase "Registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office," or the abbreviation "Reg U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off." denote that the mark has been granted full federal registration.  This means that the owner of the mark may prosecute anyone who uses the mark without permission.

Who must be licensed?

Any individual or manufacturer wishing to use the marks, logos and symbols of the University must obtain a license.  Although departments and student groups affiliated with the University do not need to be licensed themselves, they should use a licensed vendor to produce items bearing the University's marks.  It is typically much easier to work with an established University licensee than to try and license a new product or idea.  Both the UNCG Trademark Licensing Department and CLC can provide you with information on the products produced by all licensees so you can match your needs with the right company.  A list of current licensees by product is available on our UNCG Licensed Vendor page.

What products can be licensed?

The University allows its marks to be applied to a wide variety of apparel and non-apparel items. Examples of these items are shirts, sweats, hats, scarves, jackets, children's clothing items, golf accessories, key chains, frames, glassware, blankets, umbrellas, jewelry, and notebooks. UNCG does allow its marks to be applied on consumables and health & beauty products. The University does not, however, allow its marks to be used on tobacco and alcohol related products. 

A determination as to whether or not an item is acceptable is made at the time the vendor submits a request for a new product approval.

Are there any products that UNCG will not license?

Yes. UNCG will not allow its marks to be applied on tobacco and alcohol related products. 

Are student or campus organizations required to use an officially licensed manufacturer for products they plan to produce?

Although departments and student groups affiliated with the University do not need to be licensed, they should use a licensed vendor to produce items bearing the University's marks.

What is the process for student or campus organizations to obtain permission to utilize a University's logo for fund-raising T-shirts and related products?

Student or campus organizations need to complete and submit an art approval form to the Licensing Office.  To obtain an art approval form contact Tim George at 638-1875.

Do departments and University offices need permission to utilize the University's trademarks?

University schools, departments, and affiliated organizations may use the University's name or marks in their literature, signage, etc. If the school, department or affiliated organization wishes to use the University's name or marks on items to be given away or used as uniforms, the design must be submitted to the UNCG Trademark Licensing Department for approval. A licensed vendor should be used whether royalties are required or not.

Please remember that the University's marks may not be altered in any way. You may not incorporate the University's marks with a commercial vendor's mark. For more information, see our University Brand Guide page.

How do you obtain an art approval form?

Campus departments or groups may obtain an art approval form by contacting Tim George at 638-1875 . Fax, mail or deliver the completed form to Tim George at: 

UNCG Athletics
1408 Walker Avenue
337 Coleman Building
Greensboro, NC 27402

Commercial vendors must work through the Collegiate Licensing Company.  No art approvals requests are accepted directly.

How do you become a licensed vendor?

For more information on becoming a licensed vendor visit www.clc.com.

What vendors are already licensed to produce merchandise with UNCG trademarks?

A list of current licensees by product is available on our UNCG Licensed Vendor page.

Can a University department, employee, or campus organization permit a company to use a UNCG trademark?

University schools, departments, and affiliated organizations may not assign, sublicense, or modify the name UNC Greensboro or The University of North Carolina at Greensboro or UNCG or any marks of the University. All products which University schools, departments, or affiliates wish to have produced bearing the name and marks of the University are regulated by the Trademark Licensing Program. 

Can a University department or campus organization use the University's logos in printed information describing the services of their department or organization?

Yes, but it is important to use the marks correctly. Please visit the University Brand Guide page for more information.

What do you do if you need to obtain business cards, letterhead, etc?

Contact Spartan Printing to place orders for business cards and stationery items. Spartan Printing offers quick turnaround and excellent pricing on a variety of print and copy services. For more information call 334-3629.

How do I report possible trademark infringement?

The UNCG Trademark Licensing Program is committed to protecting UNCGs trademarks and the reputation they represent. We work with Collegiate Licensing Company and law enforcement agencies to enforce our trademark rights.  No use of UNCG trademarks is permitted without written consent of the UNCG Trademark Licensing Department or University Relations. Any information regarding possible trademark infringement should be reported to our Collegiate Licensing Company Representative, Cole Price, or UNCG Trademark Licensing Program Administrator, Tim George, at 336-638-1875.

What are the types of royalties?

Requests for approval generally fall into two categories:

  1. Those that require royalty payments;

  2. Those that are exempt of royalty payments.

When are royalties required?

  1. When the item is for resale;

  2. When the item carries a commercial message, sponsor, or endorsement (regardless of size);

  3. When the item is used as a promotional marketing device for a particular event.

When are royalties exempt?

  1. When the item (generally clothing) is restricted to members of a department or recognized club and is used as a "uniform";

  2. When the item is part of an all-campus event (i.e., Homecoming, SOAR and Family Weekend), does not carry commercial endorsements, distribution is not for profit and limited to members of the affiliate organization.