Office of Brand Engagement and Governance Info
Trademark Licensing FAQ
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination thereof, used to identify or distinguish the source of a good from those of others. Vanderbilt University owns and protects multiple trademarks including, without limitation, its name, logos, colors, slogans, mascot and other indicia.
What trademarks does Vanderbilt University own?
View all Vanderbilt University marks >>
Who needs a trademark license?
Any individual, organization or company wishing to use the name or identifying marks of Vanderbilt University must obtain a license. This includes manufacturers or service providers who use Vanderbilt’s name or logo on products (including premiums for promotions) or in advertising. Use of the University’s protected marks without permission from the University or its authorized trademark licensing representative, IMG College Licensing, may subject any individual, organization or company to criminal and/or civil penalties.
How do I apply to be an external licensed vendor for Vanderbilt University?
Apply to be an external licensed vendor >>
How do I apply to be an internal licensed supplier for Vanderbilt University?
Apply to be an internal licensed supplier >>
What kinds of products cannot be licensed?
Vanderbilt University will not approve the use of its name or marks to promote the following products: tobacco, controlled substances, sexually oriented products, alcohol (unless sold by the University at a University event), religious products, bathroom articles, or games of chance. Vanderbilt University will not approve the use of its name or marks with: text or graphics that are judged to be sexually suggestive, denigrating language by any group including another college or university, items that infringe on the marks of other trademark owners on products or services, or endorsement of political candidates. Vanderbilt University will not license products that: do not meet minimum standards of quality and/or taste, are judged to be dangerous or carry high product liability risks.
I own a business and would like to advertise using the Vanderbilt University’s marks with my company's marks. Do I need a license?
Please call (615) 322-4467 to learn more about advertising or marketing opportunities. From there, we can determine whether or not a license is needed.
How do I tell if merchandise is officially licensed by Vanderbilt University?
To ensure that a product is licensed, look for the "Officially Licensed Collegiate Products" label/hologram sticker. SUPPORT OPPORTUNITY VANDERBILT – LOOK FOR THE LABEL
Support Opportunity Vanderbilt – Look for the Label
When purchasing Vanderbilt University merchandise and apparel, always look for the "Officially Licensed Collegiate Product" hologram sticker attached to the product. This label is your assurance that the product you are purchasing is authentic and represents the goodwill of the University. When you see this label on a product, it signifies that the merchandise has passed the standards set forth by Vanderbilt and guarantees that a portion of the purchase is returned to the University in the form of a royalty.
At Vanderbilt University, 100% of royalties received by Vanderbilt University through the retail sale of licensed merchandise and apparel go to Opportunity Vanderbilt, scholarship support that helps ensure young people of every background can attend Vanderbilt, creating a dynamic learning community that benefits every student.
IMG College Licensing
Formed in 1981, IMG College Licensing (IMGCL), formerly the Collegiate Licensing Company, is the nation's leading collegiate licensing and marketing company. IMGCL assists the University and other collegiate licensors in protecting, managing and controlling the use of their logos through trademark licensing. IMGCL represents more than 160 universities, bowl games, athletic 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.
Please visit http://www.imgcollegelicensing.com for more information on applying for a license.