Licensing and Trademarks
St. John’s University Licensing and Trademarks program was established to protect and promote the marks, verbiage, and logos of St. John’s University. Through a partnership with IMG College Licensing, we monitor commercial and internal use of St. John’s indicia, and are responsible for managing more than 100 licensees. Please help us keep the St. John’s brand strong and request a license before printing or producing materials bearing University’s indicia.
How To Become Licensed
Who needs a license?
- Anyone or any business/organization wishing to use the University’s trademarks or verbiage on any product must have a license before offering the product/goods for sale. This also includes sale to University departments, campus organizations and student recognized organizations. Premiums, promotions and advertising are included as well.
Types of licenses
- Standard: Allows a company to produce product bearing the trademarks of unlimited collegiate institutions for university departments and related entities, in addition to retail distribution through all channels.
- Local: Allows a company to produce product bearing the trademarks of collegiate institutions within the same state as the business’ location for university departments and related entities in addition to retail distribution.
- Internal Campus Supplier (ICS): Allows a company to produce product bearing the trademarks of collegiate institutions for university departments and related entities for internal consumption only. Cannot provide product at retail or direct-to-consumer.
- Promotional: Allows a company to produce product bearing the trademarks of collegiate institutions that co-brands with a third party for university departments and related entities.
How does a company apply for a license?
- Submit your application to IMG College Licensing who will review the application to ensure that the application includes all required paperwork and then IMG College Licensing sends to St. John’s University.
- Depending on the time of year the application is submitted, the application review time for St. John’s can vary. Many factors are considered when reviewing new licensing applications.
- IMG College Licensing will alert a company when St. John’s has made its decision regarding its application. Due to the larger number of licensing requests that the St. John’s Licensing and Trademarks program receives, please do not contact the St. John’s Licensing and Trademarks program to check on the status of an application. Instead, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All St. John’s University official student organizations, the alumni groups, fraternities and sororities, club teams, and campus departments must use a university licensee to fulfill an internal order.
- To place an order, begin by choosing a vendor from the approved licensee list.
- University Logo Standards Athletics Logo Standards
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a trademark license?
- A license is a written legal 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.
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 need not be registered in order to have protectable rights to it, simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.
What are the benefits of a licensing program?
- A licensing program exists to protect the name and marks of the University and to enhance the image of the University through the signing of licensing agreements authorizing the use of the marks on high quality and tasteful merchandise. It is also the responsibility of the office to ensure that the University receives the appropriate commercial value for the use of its trademarks.
Who must be licensed?
- Anyone or any business/organization wishing to use the University’s trademarks or verbiage on any 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. Premiums, promotions and advertising are included as well.
Who needs to use a licensed vendor?
- If your order will include a University mark in the design, it must be purchased from a licensed vendor .
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.
How do I obtain a license?
- The University partners with IMG College Licensing to represent their licensing program. Please contact them directly at:
Are Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) or campus departments required to obtain permission to use the University names/marks/logos on items used as giveaways, fundraisers or for internal use (shirts for staff, plaques, etc.)?
- Yes, in order for the University to maintain and protect its value, a licensed vendor must be used.
How can I tell if a product is officially licensed?
- Look for the Officially-Licensed Collegiate label or hologram. This label assures you that the merchandise on which hangtag label is affixed has been approved for sale by the University and IMG College Licensing. Signs of infringing or counterfeit product may include poor quality of the product, registration marks not included, distorted logos and marks, no labels, cut tags, and use of student-athlete name or likeness.
May a business, corporation or outside entity use the name or marks of the University in their name or as interior design?
- The University’s policy does not allow its marks to be used for commercial and promotional advertising purposes without prior approval; this approval is granted based upon each situation. These orders must be fulfilled by a St. John’s University licensed vendor. The University’s name and/or marks may also not be used in any way that could state or imply an endorsement, such as with political candidates. The marks/names/logos may not be used as part of a business name or within the interior design of a business and its building and/or location without prior approval. Approval is not always granted for any of the above uses.
If you did not find your answer in our FAQ, please contact the St. John’s University Licensing and Trademarks program with your specific question.