Collegiate Licensing Program
In accordance with Texas A&M University System Policy 09.02 (Use of System Names and Indicia) and Tarleton Standard Administrative Procedure 09.02.99.T1 (Licensing and Use of University Name, Logos, and Trademarks), Tarleton State University has strict guidelines in place which govern the use of its name, logos, trademarks, seals and other identifying marks. Tarleton has had a collegiate licensing program in place for over 20 years to manage and protect the use of its names and symbols, and has registered the use of its names, logos and trademarks. Any marks used in reference to Tarleton or anything confusingly similar to those of the university are subject to licensing requirements. Any products bearing the marks must be approved and must display the Collegiate Licensed Product label.
In 2011, Tarleton, through The Texas A&M University System, partnered with Strategic Marketing Affiliates, Inc. ("SMA") to assist in managing the licensing program. SMA is responsible for the daily administrative activities, such as processing license applications, coordinating artwork approvals, collecting royalty payments and enforcing trademark infractions. In order to produce products bearing the marks of Tarleton, manufacturers and vendors must be a Tarleton licensee. All licensees are required to remit royalty reports and payments on a quarterly basis to SMA, who collects these payments on behalf of Tarleton.
SMA requires all standard or restricted licensees to subscribe to Logos On Demand, a logo management system created by J. Patton that combines an institution's trademarks into one style guide consisting of production ready vector art. This requirement ensures that all licensees are accessing the most accurate logo files and approved Pantone/thread colors.
For more information on becoming a Tarleton Licensee or on the services SMA provides, including a copy of the application and license agreement, visit the Strategic Marketing Affiliates website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, name, phrase, symbol or any combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes goods or services of one party from those of others. A trademark is a brand name. Rights in trademarks arise as a result of the use of the marks in commerce to identify the source or origin of goods and services. In addition, a trademark remains the property of the owner so long as the owner continues to use it properly and protects its authenticity as a trademark.
What qualifies as a trademark, logo or symbol?
Any mark, name, logo, symbol, nickname, abbreviation, word, mascot, slogan, uniform insignia or landmark that is associated with Tarleton State University and is distinguishable from any other university, team or organization.
Who must be licensed?
Any individual or company that wishes to receive Tarleton's express permission to use any or all of its trademarks/logos on products or for services sold in the marketplace, whether wholesale, retail or online. Other activities, such as some noncommercial use of trademarks/logos, may or may not need to be licensed. Some activity may constitute fair use or free speech so as not to require license. Advice in that regard should be sought from your own legal counsel.
How long does it take to obtain approval?
A decision on any license request will depend on the nature and extent of the use being applied for, the number of trademarks involved, the number and diversity of products for which the trademark or trademarks will be used, and other possible factors, such as whether the University believes there is a need to seek legal advice on the application. However, in most cases, an answer will be provided in 30 days or less.
What products can be licensed?
Tarleton State University will not license activity which it believes would disparage the University or any of its trademarks, or would be libelous, slanderous, scandalous, offensive, vulgar or constitute an unfair trade practice, or otherwise reflect negatively on the University. Some activity may constitute fair use or free speech so as not to require license. Advice in that regard should be sought from your own legal counsel.
How can you obtain a licensing application?
You can obtain an application for a License Agreement directly from Strategic Marketing Affiliates. This application can be downloaded from the Strategic Marketing Affiliates website.
Does all artwork have to be submitted for approval?
Yes. All art designs must be submitted through SMA's Artwork on Demand system and approved by Tarleton's Assistant Vice President for External Relations (or designee) prior to products being produced.
How are Tarleton's trademarks able to be used with other Trademarks (co-branding)?
Any use of Tarleton State University marks with other trademarks must be approved by SMA and Tarleton's Assistant Vice President for External Relations.
How much does it cost to become licensed?
The cost for a Standard License Agreement is:
- $100 non-refundable application fee and
- 7.5% royalty fee for Tarleton products.
The cost for a Restricted License Agreement is:
- $75 non-refundable application fee.
What is the difference between the Standard License and the Restricted License?
The Standard License is used by companies that desire to produce licensed products for resale to the general public.
The Restricted License is used by companies that desire to only produce licensed products for internal consumption by the university. No products produced under this license agreement may be sold to the general public.
If I am a student or from a department of Tarleton, do I need to ask permission to use a trademark?
Yes. Student Organizations and University Departments must complete and submit the licensing approval form. It is important for university to protect the trademarks and controlling their use will maintain their value.
If the product is not going to be resold, does it have to be produced by a licensed vendor?
Yes. All items bearing Tarleton marks must be produced by a licensed vendor whether they are for resale or not.
Are any requests exempt from royalties?
Generally, items are subject to royalties. However, each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with determination made as outlined in Tarleton Standard Administrative Procedure 09.02.99.T1 (Licensing and Use of University Name, Logos, and Trademarks).
What does Tarleton 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.
When am I able to use the trademarks of Tarleton?
Any trademark that identifies or is associated with Tarleton may not be used without prior, expressed, written permission from the Tarleton's Assistant Vice President for External Relations. A detailed written description of the use of the mark and any other pertinent information must be provided so that your request can be considered.
How long do requests usually take to process?
Typically, the review process is 2-5 university, business days. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with Tarleton rules and procedures.
How can I obtain a list of licensees?
A list of licensees can be obtained through SMA. A detailed listing will later be available through this web page.
Is it acceptable to alter a Tarleton Trademark?
Tarleton licenses its trademarks, monitors their use and takes appropriate legal action with respect to infringements of its trademarks because failure to challenge infringements can result in the loss of rights in the trademarks.
A single improper use of a trademark does not invalidate it, but repeated improper use or a pattern of inattention to proper usage can be most damaging. Tarleton takes the protection of our name and trademarks very seriously. Along with Strategic Marketing Affiliates, Tarleton will use every means within the law to vigorously pursue any infringement of our trademark rights.
To determine whether a product is licensed, look for the licensed product label. All licensed manufacturers of Tarleton products are required to display this label on the product or on the packaging.
Any suspected misuse or unlicensed use of the University’s name or trademarks should be reported immediately to the licensing department.
Every time you buy an official licensed Tarleton product, the manufacturer returns a portion of that money to the University. This "Officially Licensed Collegiate Products" label is your assurance that the merchandise you purchase is "Official" and has been approved by Tarleton. Before you buy, look for the label.
Legal Notice and Disclosures
This website is not intended and should not be construed as a statement of applicable law nor a definitive explanation of the scope of Tarleton’s legal rights nor otherwise to provide any legal advice or opinion. It is the standard operating procedure of Tarleton to require a license for any use of any of its trademarks, and for any other activity involving its trademarks, that if unlicensed would constitute a trademark infringement or trademark dilution, but it is not the intent of Tarleton's procedure to limit or prevent or to require the licensing of activity that would not infringe or dilute Tarleton’s legal rights, e.g., the legitimate exercise of the constitutional right of free speech or trademark or copyright fair use.
Tarleton does not provide advisory legal opinions or any other form of legal advice to third parties as to whether a proposed use of its trademarks may constitute permissible free speech or fair use or otherwise to not require a license. The denial by Tarleton of any application for a license does not necessarily imply or infer that the requested activity would per se infringe or dilute any trademark, nor that the activity necessarily requires a license. Interested parties are encouraged to seek their own legal counsel on any questions concerning the need for or terms of a license from Tarleton.