Frequently Asked Questions
What is a trademark?
As defined by the US Patents & Trademarks Office, “a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party form those of others.” A trademark need not be registered in order to have rights to protect it, simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.
What is a trademark license?
A license is a written agreement between the owner of the trademark (licensor) and a manufacturer/ vendor (licensee). The licensor grants permission to the licensee to affix the licensor’s trademark(s) on a product(s). This license must be in place before use of the marks.
Who must be licensed?
Anyone or any business/organization wishing to use the University’s trademarks or verbiage on a product must have a license before offering the product/goods for sale. This also includes sale to University departments, campus organizations and student recognized organizations. Promotions and advertising are included as well.
How do I become licensed?
Contact our licensing agency:
Learfield Licensing Partners
Phone: 616-395-0676 Press 2 for applications
A copy of the licensing application can be downloaded and printed from their website to speed things up.
What if my item is a publication or brochure that I wish to use the University’s trademarks on?
The trademarks of the University may not be used on publications, brochures, advertising or miscellaneous print material without permission from the University.
What kinds of products can not be licensed?
Weapons/firearms and tobacco products are not appropriate items for licensing. Other products will be considered; however, the University has the right to decline any item.
If my product is not going to be resold, do I still have to select a licensed vendor?
All items bearing the University marks must be produced by a licensed vendor whether or not items are for resale.
Who needs to use an official licensee?
If your order will include a University mark in the design, it must be purchased by an official licensee. Please contact our office for help finding a licensee.
How does the artwork approval process work?
If you have completed the licensing process through Learfield Licensing, you will receive information on submitting artwork through Trademarx. This site manages the entire artwork approval process over the Internet.
How can I tell if a product is officially-licensed?
Look for the Collegiate Licensed Product Authorization label. This label assures you that the merchandise on which they are affixed has been approved for sale by the University and Learfield Licensing.
May I use the University mark on my business card?
No, the University mark is only allowed on business cards for Kansas State University official business.
What does the University do if unlicensed merchandise is discovered in the marketplace?
Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit or infringing and subject to all available legal remedies.
How long do requests usually take to process?
Typically, for a standard or in-state license through Learfield Licensing, it will take 4-8 weeks.