Columbia, SC 29204
Benedict College’s Trademark Licensing Program works to promote, enhance and elevate the image of College by authorizing the use of the College’s name and logos.
Benedict College requires that all individuals, organizations, departments and companies, both internal and external, obtain prior approval before using the College’s name and any of it’s branding.
The Trademark License Agreement requires that the licensees submit all proposed uses of the logos and word marks to the Office of Communication and Marketing. Additionally, all designs using the College’s marks must be submitted to the Office of Communication and Marketing for approval prior to production. When requesting permission, complete the Art Approval Request Form, indicating how the product will be used and provide the artwork/design.
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 from those of others.” A Trademark do es not need to be registered in order to protect the rights to it, simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.
In order to use the College’s marks, a vendor must enter into a licensing agreement with the College. A license is a written legal agreement between the owner of the Trademark (Licensor) and a manufacturer/vendor. This license must be in place before use of the marks.
Royalties & Infringement
Royalties generated through the sales of collegiate merchandise go back to the colleges and universities for scholarship and university development opportunities. Therefore, it is important to stop the sale of unlicensed merchandise to protect the collegiate institutions involved and the integrity of the trademarks that has been established over time. If you think that you have come across a product in the marketplace that you believe is not licensed or any other infringing use of a college trademark or logo by any individual, company, or organization.
Use of the Benedict College trademarks must be consistent with the Benedict College style guide. Consistent use is important for the legal protection of the marks and to promote a consistent brand message. Only authorized licensed vendors may produce consumer products, including promotional items (giveaway items) that include college trademarks.
The college graphic identity standards must be followed as it relates to colleges, schools, institutes, centers, departments, offices, or other university organizations. Student organizations formally recognized by the Office of Student Affairs can use select college and athletic marks in conjunction with the organization name and design of promotional products. Club sports teams recognized by Benedict College Athletics are authorized to use select marks in conjunction with team names, uniform designs and the creation of promotional products.
- Use of Benedict College and Athletic marks for merchandise and promotional items must be approved by the Office of Communication and Marketing.
- Product restrictions: College marks are prohibited for use on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, sexually explicit graphics or descriptions and in conjunction with other third-party trademarks unless authorized by the Office of Communication and Marketing.
Tips for Purchasing Benedict College Merchandise
- All officially licensed merchandise should display the officially licensed collegiate product hologram somewhere on the product or hangtag.
- The merchandise should depict the Benedict College logos and marks in a tasteful and appropriate manner. If it is distasteful or inappropriate, the merchandise is unlikely to have been licensed by the College.
- The tag on the garment should be intact. A torn or missing tag is evidence of a second-hand garment, one that probably would not meet the stringent quality standards in place by the College.
- All merchandise should bear the name of the manufacturer somewhere on the product, either in the form of a hangtag, a neck label, or screen-printed directly on the garment.
- All merchandise should have the appropriate trademark designation (i.e., ®, TM) next to a specific name or design. Trademark infringement violates state and federal laws, including criminal laws. Penalties vary depending on the extent of the violation but can include confiscation of the product and equipment used to make it, fines, and even jail time for more serious violation. Confiscated product is eventually destroyed or donated to charitable organizations.
Submit Art Approval Request
If you have your design ready and product and vendor selected, please submit your information to the Office of Communication and Marketing for review.