Internal Trademarks Approval Process

All schools, departments, programs and clinics, as well as professional, student and sport groups, that wish to produce an item with the University at Buffalo name, lockup or other trademark must have approval from UB Trademarks and Licensing before placing an order. Failure to obtain prior approval could hinder vendor fulfillment of products and/or cause delays in vendor reimbursements. It also presents the risk of incorrect or inappropriate use of trademarks, which may subject items to confiscation by UB Trademarks and Licensing.

Trademarks Approval Process

1. Find a licensed vendor.

Always work with a UB collegiate licensed vendor - see link below for a current list of UB's licensees. Please review guidelines below regarding licensed versus unlicensed vendors.

2. Review lockup usage and clear space guidelines.

Before deciding on a design, it’s important to check brand guidance on the use of lockups and clear space. Carefully review the rules outlined on both pages to save time during the trademarks approval process.

3. Check prohibited items list.

Double-check the prohibited items list to ensure your product does not fall into one of the categories listed.

4. Download merchandising file.

Versions of the university marks and lockups with ™ and ® symbols should be used on all retail, merchandise and promotional items. It may also be helpful to review the file and color format tip sheet before providing any files to a vendor.

5. Complete trademark request form.

Before your order goes into production you must receive approval using the trademark request form. Send the completed form and the final design proof to our office. You can expect an initial response within 48 hours.

Any questions or concerns?

Please contact at any point during the process for additional information or clarification.

Ordering face masks?

Review the university's strict guidelines governing which vendors, masks, logos, and layouts to use BEFORE you place your order. For guidelines, click on PDF link below or call 716-645-4585.

Working With Licensed Vendors

Using a collegiate licensed vendor (see link in #1 above) is required when ordering consumable branded merchandise. They’re aware of our strict brand requirements, maintain high sustainability standards and keep the proper liability insurance to protect the university in case of product failure. They’re also more likely to provide competitive pricing, so don’t hesitate to ask for a discount or price match.

NOTE: Official collegiate licensed vendors are the only companies allowed to produce retail items (fundraising and “sold-at-cost” items are considered retail).

Working With Unlicensed Vendors (Single-Order License)

As noted above, branded consumable products require use of a UB collegiate licensed vendor. However, there are instances when the product is so uncommon or infrequently purchased (e.g., an engraved cutting board) that a collegiate licensed vendor is not available. In these rare cases, a single-order license can be issued. However a single-order license will only be allowed if pre-approved by the UB Trademarks and Licensing office prior to any purchase requisitioning and/or production begins.

Please note that if you’re seeking an exception to our collegiate licensed vendor rule, there are five conditions that must apply before we issue a single-order license:

  • The item must be unique.
  • It must be proprietary in nature.
  • It must be not available from any UB collegiate licensed vendor.
  • It must be exempt from royalties.
  • The unlicensed company must not have accepted an order from any UB entity within the same calendar year.

Only one single-order license is allowed per unlicensed vendor per calendar year. If the unlicensed vendor has already accepted an order from the university within the same calendar year, you may not place your order with that vendor until the next calendar year even if it’s an exact reprint. If the unlicensed vendor is found to be receiving multiple orders from UB within the same calendar year, the vendor should contact our current licensing agent as soon as possible to discuss licensing options.

If you believe that your item/vendor meets the exception conditions above, we encourage you to call the UB Trademarks and Licensing office at 716-645-4585 to discuss next steps.

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