NC State
Trademark Licensing

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Keep in mind:

  • Only student groups recognized and in good standing by the Student Involvement office are allowed to use the trademarks. Note: The University’s names are trademarked.
  • The student organization’s name must be on the product. Permission to use NC State trademarks on the product is predicated on the concept that you’re promoting your organization at NC State (not that you’re creating a design to compete with commercial product at retail). Using “Club”, “Student Chapter”, or “at NC State” are good ways to make that distinction.

Trademark Use Request Process:

  • Read through the Student Use page and be sure that all of the guidelines are understood.
  • Please check the Primary Spirit Marks page and Wordmark Guidelines page to make sure that your design utilizes the marks correctly.
  • Choose an approved vendor from our licensee flip book or list. Licensed vendors have agreed to abide by fair labor code-of-conduct, have indemnified the university, and are familiar with the trademarks and school colors.
  • Complete the Trademark Use Request Form. Please provide adequate time for approvals, revisions if necessary, and resubmitting for approval (around 5-7 business days).

For Competition Uniforms

For Other Apparel and Products (t-shirts, equipment bags, etc.)

  • With other apparel and products, the group must use club name with “Club” in it (i.e. Bass Fishing Club, Sailing Club)
  • Obtain approval of design from the assistant director of competitive sports,
  • Please check the Primary Spirit Marks page and Wordmark Guidelines page to make sure that your design utilizes the marks correctly.
  • Submit the Trademark Use Request Form

  • You are not allowed to use the university trademarks with your products unless you are a registered student group.
  • You can find registration guidelines at the Student Involvement website.

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 (stationary, 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. Learn more.

  • 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. 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.

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.

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 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. ( )

Learn more.

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.

Learn more.

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 also 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.

For one-off requests to use trademarks for things like memorial markers, tailgate vehicle decorations, etc., please email with the subject line “Trademark Use Request” and be sure to include as much detail as possible. We will respond to your request as soon as we can.

For trademark usage requests for cakes and confections go here.

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