Trademark Information

Louie Rebrand 470

What is a trademark or service mark?

A trademark is generally a name, word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or product of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. By registering trademarks or service marks, either at a state or federal level, a company or organization establishes the rights to exclusive use of their indicia (name, logos, graphics, marks, etc.) and limits or prohibits use by others. Throughout informational materials about NAU’s University Trademark Licensing Program, the terms “trademark” and “mark” refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Trademark Law

Trademark law seeks to prevent confusion among consumers about the source of products or services. The owner of a trademark or service mark may be able to prevent others from using its trademarks (or a similar trademark) in a manner that confuses people into thinking either that there is a relationship between the trademark owner and the unauthorized user or that the trademark owner endorses the unauthorized user’s products, services, or messages.  

Northern Arizona University Trademark Licensing

To help maintain a consistent and positive image, Northern Arizona University requires all individuals, organizations, departments and companies seeking to use Northern Arizona University trademarks, both internal and external, to obtain products from a vendor or manufacturer who is licensed with NAU through a licensing agent under contract with the university, Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). Approval through CLC is required before any vendor may produce product(s) of any nature displaying NAU indicia, regardless of the distribution method or intended use.  Approval of artwork from the University Trademark Licensing Director is required before licensed vendors may produce items of any kind.

View the following for more information:

University Merchandise Licensing Policy

What are NAU’s Trademarks?

NAU owns and protects multiple trademarks including, without limitation, its name, university marks, athletic logos, colors, slogans, verbiage, mascot, distinctive landmarks, and other indicia. Official artwork for these trademarks is made available to third party vendors upon successful attainment of a license with Collegiate Licensing Company, and therefore a granting  of official permission to produce items with NAU trademarks.

When to use the ® and ™ symbols

The ® and ™ symbols provide public notice of exclusive ownership of the related word or symbol. The ™ symbol is recognized as an abbreviation for “trademark” and should be used for words, symbols, artwork, etc. that give reference to Northern Arizona University. The ™ symbol is included in conjunction with NAU marks and verbiage to express the university’s intent of exclusive ownership over those indicia. The ® symbol denotes that the word, symbol or image is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

These symbols must be used on all items, regardless of distribution method or intended use, whether for internal or external use, including but not limited to:

  • Clothing, uniforms and other apparel
  • Novelties, gifts and other branded merchandise
  • Pens, key chains, water bottles, tote bags or other giveaway items

Only NAU’s primary vertical institutional mark is federally registered with the USPTO and requires the ® symbol.  Other marks and verbiage require use of the ™ symbol.

Print- or web-based material produced by the university for the purpose of official university business (letterhead, business cards, brochures, etc.) may omit the symbols. However, when space allows, the following disclaimer should appear,  “The words “Northern Arizona University” and the identifying marks used on this document are official trademarks of Northern Arizona University and may not be reproduced without express written permission of the university.”

For guidance, contact the University Trademark Licensing Director. Exceptions for omission of the trademark symbols granted by the Licensing Director are offered on a case-by-case basis and do not constitute a change in policy.