University Policy 510: Trademark Licensing

Category: Operating Policies
Subcategory: General
Covered Individuals: Administration, Faculty, Staff, and Students
Responsible Executive: Vice President, University Marketing & Communications
Policy Custodian: University Marketing & Communications, Trademark Licensing Director
Last Revised: August 24, 2022
Download the PDF File for Policy 510


Utah State University (“USU”) has a significant interest in maintaining, protecting, promoting, and expanding its brand, reputation, and goodwill as a top academic institution. This policy sets forth the operating framework where the USU brand, goodwill, and reputation are responsibly and uniformly maintained, protected, and promoted through proper administration of USU Trademarks.

510.2 POLICY

2.1 Trademark Ownership

USU retains sole ownership and control of USU Trademarks. Trademarks developed by USU employees that are associated with goods or services provided by USU are considered “commissioned works” under the Intellectual Property Policy (Policy 587) and are the intellectual property of USU. Any revenues associated with such USU Trademarks are retained by USU. The ownership and revenues associated with Trademarks developed by USU employees or students that are associated with Technology Transfer (as defined in Policy 587) (e.g., the brand name of an invention, process, or related spin-out company) shall be governed by Policy 587.

2.2 Trademark Use

2.2.1 Internal Use

All internal institutional use of USU Trademarks must comply with the Brand Standards.

2.2.2 Branded Goods for Internal Use

The production of internal-use, non-commercial goods displaying USU Trademarks (e.g., department uniforms, promotional items, etc.) is permissible, provided the internal unit desiring the goods obtains preapproval University Marketing & Communications, Trademark Licensing for the following: (i) the good’s design (to ensure compliance with the Brand Standards) and (ii) the good’s producer (to ensure that USU maintains appropriate contractual control of USU Trademarks).

2.2.3 Marketing Communications and Websites

The use of USU Trademarks in conjunction with USU’s marketing communications and its websites must comply with the Brand Standards.

2.2.4 Student Use

Any use of USU Trademarks by students or student organizations must comply with the Brand Standards and must be preapproved by University Marketing & Communications, Trademark Licensing. Students are prohibited from using USU Trademarks for any commercial or non-preapproved use.

2.2.5 Outside Entity Use

Any unlicensed use of USU Trademarks by an Outside Entity is prohibited. Under certain conditions, USU licenses rights to USU Trademarks to Outside Entities (e.g., rights to produce and sell branded goods or rights to use a USU Trademark to market intellectual property associated with a technology transfer license). A license to an Outside Entity to use USU Trademarks must be in writing and executed by a USU employee with delegated signatory authority in keeping with Policy 528. Such licenses must include terms that (i) confirm USU’s ownership rights in the USU Trademarks; (ii) ensure that goods or services associated with the USU Trademarks are of high quality; (iii) preserve and enhance USU’s goodwill associated with the USU Trademarks; (iv) in the case of licenses relating to branded goods, ensure that such goods are produced by a USU licensed vendor; (v) ensure that USU receives adequate consideration for an external party’s use of USU Trademarks; and (vi) control external party use of USU Trademarks so as to avoid source confusion of associated goods or services.

2.2.6 Prohibited Uses

USU, at the discretion of its administration, reserves the right to prohibit certain trademark uses by Outside Entities and USU departments that it deems inappropriate or inconsistent with USU’s image and mission.

2.2.6 Infringement

USU reserves the right to legally enforce its rights, title, and interest in USU Trademarks against any Outside Entity.

2.3 Non-compliance

A USU employee’s failure to comply with this Policy may result in notation of such failure in performance reviews, removal or reassignment of job responsibilities, corrective and/or disciplinary action.


3.1 Administration

The President’s office is responsible for the administration of USU Trademarks, with specific responsibilities delegated as follows: (a) University Marketing and Communications — brand management, merchandising, and protection of USU Trademarks; (b) Office of General Counsel — protection of USU Trademarks; and (c) Technology Transfer Services (under the direction of the Vice President for Research) — licensing of USU Trademarks associated with Technology Transfer.

3.2 Employees

Each USU employee is responsible for personally complying with the applicable law, this policy, and other applicable USU policies.

3.3 Students

Each student is responsible for personally complying with the applicable law, the Student Code of Conduct, this policy, and all other applicable USU policies.



  • USU Policy 528: Contract Signature Authority and Delegation
  • USU Policy 587: Intellectual Property
  • USU Policy 588: Research Data


  • Brand Standards comprises a set of rules and guidelines that protect USU’s brand. The Brand Standards, which are updated from time to time, are available for review at and describe the use of USU Trademarks along with the official USU color palette, typography, stationery system, and approval process for all USU marketing communications.
  • Co-Branding means the marketing of a product or service under two or more brand names.
  • Endorsement means the public approval or support of someone or something by another party.
  • Outside Entity means any person, group, business, corporation, etc. outside of the university. Utah State University colleges, departments, and divisions are not outside entities. University employees, when operating within the scope of their employment, are not considered outside entities.
  • Sponsorship means a payment of a portion or all of the costs involved in staging an event in return for advertising.
  • Trademark means a word, sentence, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes a source of the goods or services of one party from those of others.
  • USU Trademarks means Trademarks owned by USU, whether registered or unregistered, including all Trademarks associated with USU academic colleges, departments, divisions, USU programs and events, USU athletics, or other USU goods or services.

Information below is not included as part of the contents of the official policy. It is provided only as a convenience for readers/users and may be changed at any time by persons authorized by the President, subject to review by the USU Policy Committee.




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Original issue date: 2006/02/01
Last review date: 2022/08/24
Next scheduled review date:
Previous revision dates: 2012/01/14, 2017/06/14