University at Buffalo Crest

Policy Information

Date Established: 3/28/2018
Date Last Updated:
Category:
Administration and Governance
Responsible Office:
Division of University Communications
Responsible Executive:
Vice President, University Communications

Policy Contents

Trademarks and Licensing Policy

Summary

The University at Buffalo requires express written approval when using any of its marks – name, seals, crests, symbols, insignia, logos, word marks, spirit mark, signatures or taglines, uniforms, mascots, or other identifying marks, as well as still and moving visuals, in any medium. Only the Trademarks and Licensing Program can grant approval on usage.

Policy Statement

As a premier public research university, the University at Buffalo (UB, university) competes globally to recruit students, faculty, and staff, and attract philanthropic support and other resources crucial to carrying out its mission. These goals require the university to project a clear and consistent identity to the world. The use of any mark which identifies, or is associated with, the university requires prior express written approval from the Trademarks and Licensing Program.

The university legally protects its marks and images through the Trademarks and Licensing Program. University marks must be used with the appropriate trademark designation in the specific manner approved in writing by the Trademarks and Licensing Program, and may not be altered without written authorization from the Trademarks and Licensing Program.

Prior authorization to use the university’s name or marks does not constitute authorization for use in the future. In addition, any prior course of conduct, use, or infringement does not prohibit the university from enforcing its rights with respect to the university name or marks. Marks that are historical, obsolete, or replaced by updated marks continue to be protected and owned by the university.

Products bearing the university’s name or marks, and produced without proper written authorization, may be considered counterfeit or an infringement and subject to all available legal remedies, including, but not limited to, seizure of the products. Unlicensed use of university marks is subject to state and federal laws.

Officially Licensed Vendors

Products using the university’s trademarks must be produced by an officially licensed vendor.

Exceptions to using an officially licensed vendor are limited and must be approved by the Trademarks and Licensing Program.

Additional information is available in the Trademarks and Licensing Guidance.

Royalty Rate

Royalty rates and licensing fees are determined by the Trademarks and Licensing Program.  Royalties are collected whenever an item is produced that has the potential to be sold in a retail setting.

In determining exemptions from royalty payment, consideration is given to the purpose of the service or good purchased, the community served, and the source of funding.

Given these criteria, the university should not be required to pay itself for purchases of services or products it makes for its own use to fulfill the educational mission of the university. However, the university should avoid unfair competition with retailers and service providers, and should not exempt itself from paying royalties on the purchase of goods in certain circumstances.

Only the Trademarks and Licensing Program may grant royalty and licensing exemptions.

Additional information is available in the Trademarks and Licensing Guidance.

Use of University Marks in Conjunction with Other Organizations

The university does not endorse organizations, companies, products, services, political parties or views, or religious organizations or beliefs. University marks must not be used in any explicit or implied endorsement of any product or service.

University marks may under certain circumstances be used in conjunction with another corporate mark when all brand guidelines are met and with prior express written approval from the Trademarks and Licensing Program. The Trademarks and Licensing Program reserves the right to prohibit use of the university’s marks when it is deemed to be in poor taste or in violation of any part of this or any other university policy.

Additional information is available in the Trademarks and Licensing Guidance.

Trademarks and Licensing Pre- and Post-Approval

Trademark and licensing approvals should be obtained prior to use of university marks. In limited circumstances, approval is not required or may be granted post-production at the discretion of the Trademarks and Licensing Program.

Units must comply with any requests from the Trademarks and Licensing Program to bring merchandise and communications collateral into trademark compliance.

Additional information is available in the Trademarks and Licensing Guidance.

Prohibited Uses of University Name and Marks

The university’s name or marks may not be used in any way that discriminates or implies discrimination against any persons or groups based on race, color, national origin, sex, gender, religion, age, disability, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, familial status, veteran status, military status, criminal conviction status, political opinion, or in any other way that would violate the university’s anti-discrimination policies or practices.

The Trademarks and Licensing Program will not approve or license the use of the university’s name or marks in connection with certain products for commercial use. The following list is not exhaustive (a full list is maintained by the Trademarks and Licensing Program):

  • Alcoholic beverages and related products
  • Tobacco, lighters, and other smoking-related products
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Firearms or weapons
  • Goods related to gambling, lotteries, and sweepstakes
  • Any other product or service that may pose a risk to the end user, the university, or the general public

Trademarks and Licensing Code of Conduct

The university has elected to join monitoring agencies and organizations to help ensure that vendors producing goods bearing university marks are doing business in a socially responsible manner, consistent with the university’s values.

The university has developed and ratified a Trademarks and Licensing Code of Conduct to ensure that vendors adhere to fair, sustainable practices in the manufacture of products bearing the university’s marks. When applicable, vendors who reproduce university marks must comply with the Code of Conduct.

Background

The university benefits from the public recognition of its names, symbol, logo, trademarks, service marks, designs, crests, seals, and any combination of these marks. Federal, state, and common laws govern the university’s rights to its marks. The Trademarks and Licensing Program complies with and assures protection under trademark laws. The Program:

  • Protects all marks that relate to the university (or have come to be associated with the university)
  • Ensures that the marks are used in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the university and reflects favorably on the university
  • Ensures promotion of the university in a consistent and uniform manner to protect the university’s name, image, and reputation
  • Protects the consumer from deception or faulty, fraudulent, or inferior products and services bearing the university’s marks or a facsimile of the university’s marks

Applicability

This policy applies to all university academic and administrative units, centers, institutes, student and athletic groups, as well as vendors that produce goods and provide services that include the university’s name and/or marks and sponsors who wish to use the university’s name and/or marks.

Definitions

Express Written Approval

Clear, formal, and explicit permission or consent that is put into writing. Approvals cannot be implied, nor given orally or verbally.

Mark

Names, seals, symbols, insignia, logos, original artwork, word marks, signatures or taglines, uniforms, mascots, or other identifying visuals, as well as still and moving images, or any other identifier that represents the University at Buffalo.

Names

University at Buffalo, UB, Bulls, UBuffalo.

Officially Licensed Vendor

A business or corporation that is approved and licensed by the Trademarks and Licensing Program to produce merchandise that bears the University at Buffalo marks. These vendors must meet insurance requirements, show consistent quality, and agree to abide by the university’s Trademarks and Licensing Code of Conduct. Vendors must complete an application to become licensed.

Sponsor

A person, firm, or organization that enters into a contractual relationship with the university in which the intent of the relationship is to support the university’s goals, typically in a financial capacity.

Store Vendor

A retail business that purchases officially licensed product for resale.

University Vendor

A vendor that does business with the university.

Responsibility

All Members of the University Community, Including Vendors and External Sponsors

  • Obtain approval to use university marks from the Trademarks and Licensing Program, as required.
  • Use an officially licensed vendor for production of items bearing university marks.
  • Review and adhere to branding standards.

Division of University Communications

  • Oversee the Trademarks and Licensing Program.
  • Develop and maintain branding standards.

Trademarks and Licensing Program

  • Register the university’s marks with the appropriate federal and state offices.
  • Maintain the Trademarks and Licensing Code of Conduct.
  • Review and approve exceptions to the use of officially licensed vendors.
  • Establish royalty rate and licensing fees.
    • Annually review and adjust the royalty rate as appropriate, based on industry standards and business needs.
    • Review and approve exemptions from royalty fees.
  • Review and approve vendor promotional materials that identify the university or a unit of the university as a customer or client.
  • Review requests from corporate and external entities to use university marks in sponsorship materials.

Contact Information

Contact An Expert
Contact Phone Email
Trademarks and Licensing 716-645-4585 UBTrademarks@buffalo.edu

Related Information

University Links

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President

3/28/2018

Date