Trademark Licensing

Howard University's Trademark Licensing Program

Promoting, enhancing, and elevating the image of Howard University!

Art Approval Request
Depts. & Student
Become a Licensee
Howard Licensed Businesses

About our Licensing Program

About Our Licensing Program
Howard University's Trademark Licensing Program works to promote, enhance and elevate the image of Howard University by authorizing the use of the University's name and logos on high quality and tasteful merchandise.

Howard University requires that all individuals, organizations, departments and companies, both internal and external, obtain prior approval before using any Howard Indicia. This includes all names or logos that are registered trademarks of the university, as well as any use of University color schemes in combination with facts or wording that implies an association with the University.

Our Licensing Partner

Our Licensing Partner
Our licensing program is administered by the Office of Auxiliary Enterprises in partnership with IMG College Licensing (IMGCL). IMGCL is the nation's leading collegiate licensing and marketing representative.  Formed in 1981, IMGCL assists collegiate licensors in protecting and controlling the use of their logos through trademark licensing.  Their Consortium consists of more than 200 universities, bowl games, conferences, the NCAA and the Heisman Trophy. Based in Atlanta, IMGCL provides its member institutions the expertise, resources and experience necessary to maximize licensing revenue potential through the power of consolidation.
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Using Howard University’s Trademarks

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 protect the rights to it, simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.
In order to use the University's marks, a vendor must enter into a licensing agreement with Howard. 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, visit IMGCL's website to make an anonymous report.
Tips for purchasing Howard University merchandise

• All officially licensed merchandise should display the Officially Licensed Collegiate Product hologram somewhere on the product or hangtag.
• The merchandise should depict the Howard University logos and marks in a tasteful and appropriate manner. If it is distasteful or inappropriate, the merchandise is unlikely to have been licensed by Howard.
• 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 Howard.
• 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 designations (i.e., ®,™) 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 violations. Confiscated product is eventually destroyed or donated to charitable organizations.