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 does not need to 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 recognized student organizations. Promotions and advertising are included as well.

How do I become licensed?
Contact our licensing agency Affinity Licensing

To begin the licensing process, click here to register and apply for a license.

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 or see our list of promotional product licensees which can be found by selecting "Promotional Product Licensees" from the menu to the left.

How does the artwork approval process work?
If you have completed the licensing process through Affinity Licensing, you will receive information on submitting artwork for approval through the Gateway. This site manages the entire artwork approval process online.

How can I tell if a product is officially-licensed?
Look for the Officially Licensed collegiate product label. This label assures you that the merchandise on which they are affixed has been approved for sale by the University and Affinity 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.