Licensing FAQs

Jackson State University
Licensing Program
TRADEMARKS-FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What is a Trademark?
A. A trademark is any word, symbol, design, or a combination of these, which identifies and distinguishes the goods and/or services of one party from those of another.

Q. What is the difference between a TM and a ®?
A. Anyone who claims rights to a mark may use the TM(trademark) designation, with the mark to alert the public to their claim of ownership. It is not necessary to have a registration, or even a pending application, to use this designation. The Registration symbol, ®, may only be used when the mark is registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO). One may not use this symbol before it is registered with PTO.

Q. Is the name Jackson State University® registered? 
A. Yes. In 1999, the Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance took steps in registering the following names and wordmarks. The name, mascot, seal, and other logos and graphics associated with Jackson State University® are protected trademarks. Please note that any officially adopted words, images or graphics and/or a combination of words and images representing the University are registered.
 For example:
Jackson State University® University Seal®
Jackson State University® “1877” Jackson State®
Jackson State® Tigers JSU (leaping tiger to the right) ®

Q  May I use the University seal?
A. The seal may only be used on official University documents, such as diplomas, transcripts, major report covers, certificates, contracts, formal invitations and engraved notecards. It may never be used as a substitute for the Jackson State University logo. Permission to use the seal must be granted by the Office of Contractual Services. Once permission has been granted, proper reproduction files or materials will be made available. Do not scan the seal from old documents. It often results in poor quality reproduction.

Q. What is a Trademark Licensing Agreement?
A. A Trademark Licensing Agreement evidences permission to use the University name or trademarks for commercial purposes granted by a nonexclusive license in return for royalties.

Q. Who can participate in the Trademark Licensing Program? 
A. All retailers and manufacturers of products bearing the trademarks of JSU® for profit must enter
into a nonexclusive Trademark License Agreement with the University.

Q. What kind of merchandise requires a trademark agreement?
A. All products that are imprinted with a Jackson State University® trademark require
licensing. These trademarks include the name of the University, the University seal, the athletic
logo and any wordmarks associated with Jackson State University® “Home of the Tigers”.

Q. Are licensed vendors allowed to sell licensed merchandise on Jackson State University® campus?
A. No. Licensed vendors are not allowed to sell licensed merchandise on Jackson State University®
main campus or on any JSU® off-campus sites. Follett Bookstore has exclusive rights to sell
licensed merchandise through our JSU® Bookstore and on campus, with the exception of
Homecoming week.

Q. Are licensed vendors allowed to sell licensed merchandise at any Jackson State University® controlled event? 
A. Yes. Licensed vendors are allowed to sell licensed merchandise at Jackson State University® controlled events, with the exception on the main campus or on any JSU® off-campus sites.
Licensed vendors are encouraged to sell licensed merchandise during football season and event(s) controlled by the University or other JSU® events held at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium or other off-campus sites.

Q. Can licensed vendors sell in the City of Jackson and the area(s) surrounding the University? 
A. Yes, licensed vendors can sell licensed product(s) in the City of Jackson. However, vendors must contact the City of Jackson, City Clerk’s Office to obtain a permit.

Q. What is an infringement?
A. Infringement is simple. It is the unauthorized use of any registered marks.

Q. Are there penalties for infringement?
A. Yes, there are penalties that are set forth by the University and are usually administered through the Office of the General Counsel.

Q. What actions are taken toward infringers? 
A. Office of Contractual Services will:

  1. Issue a written warning on site to the unauthorized user
  2. Complete and file an Infringement Report Form
  3. Notify infringer, where possible, of their unauthorized usage of the registered mark (identify product) and provide information on University Licensing Program and offer the opportunity to become an approved licensee.
    1. Notify manufacturers, where possible, of any unauthorized use of the University name and trademarks. This office will explain what constitutes trademark infringement and provide the manufacturer with information on the University Licensing Program, after all royalties based on the sale of the merchandise are paid to the University.
    2. If infringer desire not to take advantage of the offer by the University, a follow-up Cease and Desist Form will be sent by certified mail and copied to the Office of General Counsel.
    3. Office of General Counsel will review and pursue legal actions, if necessary.

Q. How does one become an approved licensee of the University? 
A. The University Licensing Program was outsourced effective July 1, 2007 to Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA). SMA will serve as the University exclusive licensing administrator to appoint licensees to use the indicia on merchandise sold through retail and wholesale channels, in exchange for royalties.

Visit www.smaworks.com