NC State
Trademark Licensing

Official University Business

University departments are permitted to use university marks in accordance with the university’s brand book. Official university business is defined as situations that indicate university ownership, including but not limited to publications and other documents; stationery; signage; advertising for the department’s services; equipment and supplies and websites. All such uses must be in accordance with any other applicable university policy, such as that regarding websites, vendors, and the creation of new logos. The brand book includes links to download presentations, stationery, the NC State University “brick logo” and more. University Communications is the gatekeeper of NC State’s branding.

Download a complete list of vendors licensed to produce department products bearing University trademarks: Licensed Vendors for Departments

Digital Badges

A consistent digital badging format is essential to communicating authenticity and context within our globally recognized brand. This formatting guide shows how to modify the digital badge to suit user needs, while staying within NC State’s brand guidelines.

Products, Fundraisers, Promotional Items

University departments may use university trademarks on merchandise or promotional items to raise funds for their own organization, solicit charitable support, or brand awareness in accordance with the Policy Rules and Regulation 1.25.01.

A vendor licensed to use the university’s name and trademarks is required to be used to ensure the products are purchased under the requirements of the University’s Code of Conduct, and that the vendor has indemnified the university. Licensed vendors are familiar with NC State’s branding guidelines and have access to online approval software. We encourage university departments to use Marketplace  to source their promotional items, which can save departments both time and money.

All items sold or given away through NC State departments bearing university logos must be purchased from licensed manufacturers and require royalties to be paid by the licensee. Both promotional merchandise that is given away as well as merchandise for resale (even as a fundraiser for charity) requires this royalty to be paid by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will be required to pay royalties on the product in such cases, which has been prorated at 50% of the standard royalty rate for university departments and colleges. Staff uniforms, safety equipment, and other items used internally within a college or department  in the typical course of business are exempted from the royalty requirement.

Download a complete list of vendors licensed to produce department products bearing University trademarks: Licensed Vendors for Departments

External Organizations That Work With Colleges or Departments

Companies, government agencies and organizations that interact with NC State’s colleges and departments in research sponsorship, collaborations and projects and who may wish to use the university’s trademarks for their own presentations, case studies and websites must receive written permission prior to its use. If the proposed use is related to sponsored research, athletics or some other discrete area of the university, the Trademark Licensing Office will consult with that unit before making a decision on the appropriate trademark use and/or verbiage.

Affiliated Organizations

No organization associated with the university is exempt from the licensing program requirements, including extension units, alumni associations, and booster clubs and chapters. All items that are sold, or given as gifts or promotional items through affiliated organizations bearing university logos must be purchased from licensed manufacturers and such items are not exempt from royalties.

Vendors and Contractors

N.C. Administrative Code at Title 1, chapter 5B, part .1516 says: “No contract shall be used for any advertising by the contractor.” The university’s purchasing and contract management offices will review contracts and vendor performance to prevent advertising or promotion based on the existence of a contract with the university.

Trademark Registration Assistance for Departments

The Trademark Licensing Office is the designated clearinghouse for all university-related trademarks. All university-derived marks are the property of North Carolina State University and will be registered as such in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Our role in the trademark registration process is to ensure proper steps are taken for you as the client in the registration, renewals, and affidavits of use requirements. Where appropriate, we consult with University Communications on any brand architecture issues that arise from a new trademark. No additional fees will be assessed for our services beyond the required filing fees as stated by the USPTO and outside counsel.