The purpose of this policy is to provide information and guidelines to Northeastern State University’s community with regard to the use of NSU’s trademarks. Because of federal guidelines, Northeastern State University must control the use of its trademarks to maintain usage of our identifiers.
Trademark: A name, symbol or combination of both which identifies the source of a product or service. In the case of licensed goods, a trademark indicates affiliation or sponsor rather than producer. In practice, a trademark also enhances the desirability of a product and, when properly controlled, can increase the value of the product as well as the goodwill inherent in the mark. For the purposes of this document, “trademark” is used to indicate any or all of the following: trademark, trade name, service mark, logo, insignia, indicia, emblem, symbol, identifying mark, mark, and name.
Infringement: Unauthorized use of a trademark that belongs to another, or use of a trademark so similar to that of another as to cause confusion in the minds of the public as to the source (affiliation or sponsorship) of the product or service.
Licensing Agent: One who acts on behalf of another on issues related to the manufacture, distribution, and sales of goods bearing protected marks.
Licensor: One who contracts to allow another (licensee) to use licensor’s property (trademark) in exchange for payment, usually royalty as a percent of sales.
Authentic: The article is identical to what players and coaches wear during games or practices.
Replica: The article looks identical to what players and coaches wear but may vary as to material, quality, or manufacturer. Replicas are not the same as authentic.
Any manufacturer wishing to use Northeastern State University’s marks on its products must be properly licensed to do so. Learfield is Northeastern State University’s authorized agent for trademark licensing purposes. Learfield is authorized to license manufacturers meeting Northeastern State University’s graphic standards. Except for those instances when the university wishes to issue corporate promotional licenses, Northeastern State University will not issue licenses directly. Distributing, brokering, or retailing of licensed goods does not require a license, nor will licenses be issued for such purposes.
Private Use of the Marks
The use of the Northeastern State University marks to promote a commercial entity is prohibited, except as provided in the section “use of the marks.” Any use of the marks which states an endorsement, or approval of a product, service, or company is prohibited.
Use of the Marks
The use of the Northeastern State University name, trademarks or logos in conjunction with a commercial promotion may be permissible if the following criteria are met:
- The promotion must be beneficial to Northeastern State University. This benefit may be tangible or intangible.
- The use must be consistent with Northeastern State University’s institutional mission, values, and standards of excellence.
- The use must be consistent with all other provisions of this logo and trademark licensing policy.
Requests for such use shall be approved by the office of the Vice President of University Relations to assure that these criteria are met. Each request will be specifically approved in writing. Northeastern State University may require that such promotions operate under a promotional license.
Use of the Marks in Named Events
When a Northeastern State University team is an invited participant in an event where the event sponsor’s name and/or logos are used to name the event, Northeastern State University allows the use of its marks in conjunction with the sponsor/event names and logos to promote the event. Each such use must be specifically approved by Northeastern State University.
Use of Marks in MIAA Promotions
When the MIAA Conference and its member schools agree to promote the Conference and its member schools through a commercial sponsorship, Northeastern State University shall allow the use of its name and logos in conjunction with the Conference logo, the member schools’ logo and the sponsors’ logo. Each such use must be specifically approved by Northeastern State University.
A promotional license is a limited term contract between Northeastern State University and a company, organization, or individual in which permission is granted to use NSU marks in a commercial promotion. A fee may be charged for promotional licenses. All promotional material must be approved in advance by Northeastern State University.
Product & Design Approval
Northeastern State University shall approve each use of its marks on a per product, per design basis. Licensees must submit each product or design to Learfield for approval by Northeastern State University.
Northeastern State University will not approve the use of its marks on the following products:
- Controlled Substances
- Sexually oriented products or designs
- Religious products or designs
- Political products or designs
- Games of chance
- Appliqués, patches, or heat transfers for retail sales
In addition Northeastern State University will not approve the use of its name or marks in text or graphics which are judged to be sexually suggestive: denigrate any groups, including another college or university, or infringe on the rights of other trademark owners. Northeastern State University will not approve products which do not meet minimum standards of quality and/or good taste or are judged to be dangerous and/or carry high product liability risks.
Northeastern State University will not approve the use of its marks on any product or design which in Northeastern State University’s sole judgment may violate NCAA rules. This applies to product designs incorporating:
- Jersey numbers, except on authentic or replica merchandise
- Photos or any other likeness of a student athlete
- Names of student athletes
- Nicknames of student athletes
Northeastern State University will approve products or designs incorporating only current marks. Marks which are obsolete or replaced by updated marks will continue to be protected by Northeastern State University but will not be approved for use in new products or designs.
All licensed goods manufactured for sale or use are subject to a royalty. The royalty rate is designated by Northeastern State University and is subject to change by Northeastern State University. The royalty is paid on wholesale sales by the manufacturer of the goods. The royalty policy is administered by Learfield.
All goods bearing Northeastern State University marks must follow the normal approval process. Royalties generated by the licensing program shall be deposited with Northeastern State University. Further disbursement of these funds is at the discretion of the President.
Northeastern State University encourages creative uses of its marks in promoting school spirit. Northeastern State University recognizes that its licensees are creative in this regard and that some concepts or designs developed by licensees may not clearly fall within the guidelines of this Administrative Policy Statement. When this occurs, Northeastern State University will be the sole judge of acceptability.