A trademark is any word, symbol, or device used by a company/corporation to identify products or services and to distinguish them from those products or services offered by others. It can be a simple word, a logo, or even a slogan.
A trademark, whether it identifies a company, a product, or a service, is a corporate asset. It is important that trademarks be used carefully to prevent confusion about ownership and responsibility, and to protect valuable investments their owners make in them. The University desires to associate its trademarks with quality, reliable products that are competitively priced. This policy statement will provide an overview of the principles of trademark usage for the University of Colorado as well as standards for licensees .
The University is the owner of certain valuable trademarks, tradenames and service marks, including, but not limited to, "CU," "University of Colorado," "Colorado Buffaloes," "Golden Buffaloes," "Buffs," "CU in the City," CU in the Springs, the interlocking CU, the seal, the buffalo containing the CU and the initials "UCB," "UCD," "UCCS," and the "UCHSC" (such trademarks, tradenames and service marks being referred to collectively as "Marks") said "Marks" having been used for promotional and advertising purposes and being well known and recognized by the general public and associated in the public mind with the University. It also includes items in which there may be a likelihood of confusion regarding the origin of the goods, such as the use of the word "Colorado" in the school colors of silver and gold or black and gold, the use of the colors that are accepted and recognized colors of the University, or the use of a likeness of a buffalo to imply affiliation with the University.
The purpose of the licensing program at the University of Colorado is to protect the name and Marks of the University, and to enhance the image of the University through the approval of the use of the Marks by licensees who adhere to University standards. The goodwill of the University provides value to the Marks and it is the responsibility of the Office of Licensing Programs to insure that this value is shared with the University. By requiring permission to use the Marks, the Office of Licensing Programs incurs the obligation to actively prohibit their unauthorized use, and to oversee agreements with licensees. The Office of Licensing Programs is also obligated to the University community to insure that the maximum amount of funds collected are made available for use in a manner that will promote the institution and its programs.
Use of the University's trademarks for commercial purposes without the prior written consent of the University may constitute trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. Use of any University trademark in commerce may be prohibited by law except by express license from the University.
All licensees must adhere to ethical business practices as well as standards related to quality, reliability and cost. In doing so, workers producing University licensed goods are expected to work in humane and safe conditions and receive fair wages. Licensees are expected to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Licensees are expected to adhere to limitations on required hours of work; to limitations on child labor, and prohibitions on the use of forced labor.
Licensees are expected to conduct business in a manner consistent with the standards outlined in this policy. The "licensee" shall include all persons or entities that have entered into a written Licensing Agreement with the University to use University Marks. Additionally, these standards shall apply to all of the licensee's contractors, vendors or manufacturers when engaged in the production of a University licensed product.
II. Minimum Standards for Licensees
Licensees shall meet all applicable governmental standards laws and regulations when producing a University licensed product. Licensees are expected to conduct business with honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and respect for the intrinsic value of each human being.
- Wages and Benefits: Licensees shall provide wages and benefits which comply with all applicable laws and regulations where the work is being performed or the local prevailing wage and benefits in the relevant industry, whichever is higher.
- Regular Working Hours: Employees shall not be required to work more than the limits on regular hours by the applicable laws where the work is being performed or no more 60 hours per week on a regularly scheduled basis, whichever is less. Normally, employees will not be required to work more than six days in a seven-day period.
- Overtime: Employees shall be compensated for overtime as is required by the laws applicable to where the work is being performed. Licensees are encouraged to provide additional compensation for hours worked in excess of 48 regular hours.
- Child Labor: No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 (or 14 where, consistent with International Labor Organization practices for developing countries, the law of the country allows such exception). Where the age for completing compulsory education is higher than the standard for the minimum age of employment stated above, the higher age for compulsory education shall apply.
- Forced Labor: There shall not be any use of forced labor, whether in the form of prison, indentured or bonded labor.
- Health and Safety: Licensees shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or incurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of licensee facilities. If residential facilities are provided they must be safe and healthy.
- Nondiscrimination: Licensees shall employ individuals solely on their ability to perform the job. Licensees shall not unlawfully discriminate with respect to terms and conditions of employment.
- Harassment or Abuse: Licensees are expected to treat every employee with dignity and respect and to create an environment free of sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse. Licensees shall not use or tolerate any form of physical abuse or corporal punishment.
- Freedom of Association: Licensees shall recognize and respect the rights of employees to freedom of association.
- Protection of Women: Women shall be entitled to equal treatment. Licensees shall respect women's reproductive health. Pregnancy tests and the use of contraception should not be a condition of employment, nor should they be demanded of employees. Licensees and licensee contractors should define written policies for maternity leave including a right for employees to return to work following maternity leave.
- Posting of Standards: Licensee and licensee contractors should post these standards or a consistent standard in prominent areas in the workplace in a language that the employees understand.
III. Licensee Compliance with Standards
- All licensing agreements will include these standards for licensees and licensee's contractors. It shall be the responsibility of each University licensee to ensure its compliance and the compliance of its contractors.
- The University reserves the right to seek names and locations of the licensees and all contractors of the licensee involved in the production of items which bear, or will bear, the Marks of the University.
IV. Verification and Compliance Mechanisms for Licensees
It shall be the responsibility of each licensee to insure its compliance with the standards contained in this policy.
V. University Licensing Advisory Committee (LAC)
The Vice Chancellor for Administration shall appoint a Licensing Advisory Committee (LAC). LAC membership shall include the director of licensing (chair), director of financial and business services, and one Chancellor appointed representative from the following: the Boulder Faculty Assembly, the Boulder Campus Staff Council, the University of Colorado Student Union, and the Department of Athletics. The LAC will make recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Administration regarding licensing issues. Such recommendations shall include but not be limited to:
- New licensee applications.
- Licensee rebate guidelines and other incentives that might strengthen commitments to human rights.
- Licensee renewal agreements.
- A dispute resolution process for licensees.
- A review of the effectiveness of monitoring techniques and recommendations for improvement.
VI. Performance in Excess of University Defined Standards
Licensees that demonstrate performance in excess of University defined standards shall be eligible to apply for and receive a rebate of up to 10% of the licensing royalties it paid during a contract term excluding the annual royalty deposit.
The University will consider information in monitoring licensee compliance with this policy from the following sources: the Fair Labor Association, the Workers Rights Consortium, the International Labor Organization, other organizations, as well as other information available to the University.
VII. Dispute Resolution
Recommendations for dispute resolution are to be developed by the LAC and forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Administration.
IX. Registration of Marks
The Licensing Office will register all appropriate Marks for protection. This will be done federally, through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and locally, through the Secretary of State's Office. Copyright protection will be sought as well, where appropriate. Licensing activity, however, will not be limited to registered marks.
X. Royalty Rate
The royalty rate is set at a level that will adequately reflect the value added to the goods and services on which University Marks are displayed. In developing the rate, consideration is given to the cost to the consumer, the impact on the vendor community, and the rates in place at institutions of similar size and stature. The licensing director will determine the royalty rate for the use of the University's Marks. The current University royalty rate is 8% of the wholesale cost of goods
XI. Royalty Exemptions
In determining exemptions from royalty payment, consideration is given to the purpose of the licensing program and the community it serves. Given these criteria, the University should not be required to pay itself for purchases of services or products it makes for its own use to fulfill the educational mission of the University. However, the University should also avoid unfair competition with other retailers and service providers and should, therefore, not exempt itself from paying royalties on the purchase of goods that are to be used for resale or services provided to faculty, staff, and students as an additional benefit unrelated to the educational mission of the University.
Goods and services purchased by University departments for their use within the institution are exempt from royalties, but must be purchased from licensed manufacturers and service providers. Not exempt from this licensing policy are purchases by University departments for resale, even if the goods are to be resold at cost.
XII. Use of University Marks by Student Organizations
Use of the University's Marks by student organizations is outlined in the, "Student Policy for Use of the University of Colorado's Name and Identifying Marks."
XIII. Use of University Marks on the World Wide Web
Because of the likelihood of confusion as to the origin of the web page, the University must endeavor to limit and restrict the use of its Marks by individuals and organizations not affiliated with the University. The following restrictions shall apply to use of the Marks on the world wide web:
- Only official University departments and University recognized affiliates of the University may use the Marks in URL addresses or domain names.
- Retailers of officially licensed products and licensees may use the Marks on web pages to advertise and promote officially licensed products. The Officially Licensed Product label must appear on each web page containing licensed product.
- Fans and supporters of the University wishing to use the Marks must refer to badges available on the University's home page and follow usage guidelines.
This does not include use of the Marks for commercial purposes to advertise or promote a business enterprise. However, use of the Marks to show support of the University must include the words, "Go Buffs." The following disclaimer statement must appear on each page that contains one of the University's Marks:
"The University of Colorado, Office of Licensing Programs has authorized the use of its trademarks on this web site for non-commercial purposes. Use of the trademarks does not imply endorsement by or affiliation with the University of Colorado. The University of Colorado has not reviewed the content of this site and is not responsible for its content."
- The University of Colorado welcomes links to its web sites for educational or informational purposes. Links may not suggest that the University is responsible for or endorses the content of the site where the link is located. Links may not put the University site in frames, and unless the content warrants, should go to the index page of a directory or domain.
- The University's Marks may not be used in meta tags.
XIV. Use of University Marks for Promotions
It is the general policy of the University of Colorado to avoid the endorsement of any product or service. Therefore, Marks will not be used in an explicit endorsement of any product or service. They may be used implicitly, however, in conjunction with another corporate mark, with the approval of the Office of Licensing Programs, in the following situations:
- When used in an advertising promotion which the University Mark is not included on the product, and no explicit relationship between the University and the manufacturer is stated.
- When used on a product, and no explicit relationship between the University and the manufacturer is stated.
- When used by a University sponsor and use of the Marks for endorsement is agreed upon by the Office of Licensing Programs and the Office of University Counsel as part of the sponsorship agreement.
- Marks may be temporarily used by a commercial establishment in support of the University, as in a banner across the entrance saying, "Go Buffs!" University wordmarks may be integrated into the name of a business only under the terms and conditions of an executed Rights Agreement. The Office of Licensing Programs reserves the right to prohibit such use when it is deemed to be in bad taste or in violation of any part of this policy.
XV. Enforcement of Licensing Policy for Unlicensed Products and Uses
The Office of Licensing Programs is charged not only with approving the usage of the University Marks but also with monitoring and enforcing this policy to ensure that unlicensed products and web uses are not permitted in the marketplace. This requires a constant awareness and diligence in taking action to prohibit unauthorized use of University Marks. Upon discovery of an unauthorized usage of the Marks, the Licensing Office will notify the retailer, manufacturer, or individual of the necessity to cease and desist in the unauthorized usage of the University's Marks and collect appropriate damages. Should the unauthorized use not be discontinued, the Office of Licensing Programs shall consider all appropriate legal action.
XVI. Recommended Distribution of Royalties
Royalties are earned because of the value of the Marks. It is the policy of the University to return these funds to the campuses in a way that supports the educational, research, or public service mission. Royalties will be distributed to all campuses, after the establishment of a budget for the operation of the Office of Licensing Programs.
XVII. For More Information
If you have questions about proper usage of the University name or registered marks, contact the Office of Licensing Programs.