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Trademarks & Licensing

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does UC care who uses its trademarks or how?

UC must control and monitor the use of its trademarks or risk losing its rights to use them as unique identifiers of the University of Cincinnati. UC has a compelling interest in controlling the use of its trademarks for other reasons as well. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Protecting UC’s name and ensuring that its use, across all units of the university, is compatible with the University of Cincinnati’s goodwill and reputation.
  • Ensuring that any products or services that bear UC trademarks are of high quality and are used only in connection with products and services with which the institution has chosen to be identified.
  • Preventing misleading or inaccurate portrayals of UC’s relationship to others or to activities, and preventing others from taking advantage of the goodwill the institution has developed and which is symbolized by its trademarks; and
  • Ensuring that products and services bearing UC’s trademarks protect the integrity and reputation of the institution, maintain and build upon the goodwill of the institution, and promote support for and increase awareness of the institution, its mission and goals.

What is a trademark or service mark?

  • 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 from those of others.
  • A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Throughout this booklet, the terms “trademark” and “mark” refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Rights over a mark based can be established on legitimate use of the mark without filing for registration of the mark. However, there are advantages of owning a federal trademark registration:

  • It serves as constructive notice to the public of your claim of ownership of the mark.
  • It provides a legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark and maintains your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services (classes) you list in the registration.
  • It gives you the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court.
  • It forms the basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
  • It prevents importation of infringing foreign goods.

When can I use the trademark symbols TM, SM and ®?

Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO. However, you may use the federal registration symbol “®” only after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending. Also, you may use the registration symbol with the mark only on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the federal trademark registration.

Who needs a license?

Licenses must be obtained for the use of any UC’s trademarks, images, or photographs used on any packaging (including hangtags, stickers), signage, or products sold to the general public or to campus departments and organizations. In addition, promotional licenses must be obtained by companies or organizations wanting to associate with the university through use of its trademarks.

Getting licensed — how to become a licensee

What is a license to produce UC products?

A license to produce UC products is an agreement that is formed between the university, its licensing agent, CLC, and the company producing products bearing the marks of UC.

Who qualifies as a licensee?

A licensee is any company producing a product, who would like to add UC trademarks/logos to add value to the product that has been created.

Who can enter into a licensing agreement with UC?

Anyone who wishes to obtain a license to produce products bearing UC trademarks must submit a licensing application.

How do I start the licensing process with UC?

To obtain a licensing application, visit CLC’s Web site at www.clc.com. Mouse over “Licensing Info” on the homepage and click “Application Process” to download an application. You can also visit the CLC web site to obtain answers to frequently asked licensing questions. View the “Contact Information” page on this site to see additional CLC contact info.

What is the licensing process?

UC trademark licensing evaluates each product idea, and the office must grant approval of the completed product and designs before any merchandise can be produced for retail sale. This process ensures that every product bearing the marks of UC will be of a high quality, and protects all parties, including the university, from future liability.

How can you obtain a license?

To obtain a license to produce UC products, you must complete a licensing agreement with the university’s licensing agent, CLC, also known as the Collegiate Licensing Company. You can contact CLC by telephone at 770-956-0520, or by visiting them at www.clc.com.

How does UC respond to trademark infringement?

UC aggressively pursues infringers through legal channels, including, but not restricted to, letters of “cease and desist” and lawsuits. Suspected trademark infringement should be reported immediately to the director of trademarks and licensing. Please include the URL if the image has been used on the internet.

What is the Collegiate Licensing Company?

The Collegiate Licensing Company is the licensing representative/agent for UC. As the university’s representative, CLC is responsible for administering the licensing program, including processing licensing applications, collecting royalty payments, enforcing trademarks, and pursuing new market opportunities for the university.

If you are interested in obtaining additional information concerning licensing, royalty rates, and procedures within the United States and its territories and possessions, please contact UC’s licensing agent:

The Collegiate Licensing Company
1075 Peachtree Street, Suite 3300
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 770-956-0520
Fax: 770-955-4491
Web site: www.clc.com

If you are interested in obtaining additional information concerning licensing, royalty rates, and procedures outside of the United States and its territories and possessions, please contact UC’s international licensing agent:

CLC International
1075 Peachtree Street, Suite 3300
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 770-956-0520
Fax: 770-955-4491

If you are interested in obtaining information concerning licensing, royalty rates, and procedures for video and still images, please contact the UC Trademarks & Licensing Office:

Trademarks and Licensing
University of Cincinnati
51 W. Goodman Drive, Suite 200
PO Box 210046
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0046
Phone: 513-556-9151
Fax: 513-556-5789

If you would like further information concerning UC Trademark & Licensing, please contact:

Trademarks and Licensing
University of Cincinnati
51 W. Goodman Drive, Suite 200
PO Box 210046
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0046
Phone: 513-556-9151
Fax: 513-556-5789
laura.driscoll@uc.edu