Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Merchendise with various N A U logos and Lumberjack symbols.

Trademark & Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions

Explore our FAQ page for all your questions about trademarks, service marks, NAU licensing processes, and campus use guidelines. Get the answers you need in one convenient place. If your question is not listed, fill out the Contact Trademarks & Licensing form or email

A Northern Arizona University licensed vendor is a business or corporation that is approved to print and produce merchandise that bears the university marks. Being a licensed vendor means that you abide by the University’s Labor Code of Conduct, have royalty reporting structure in place, are part of a select group of vendors in that product category, and produce quality merchandise that is associated with the University’s brand. The Office of Trademarks & Licensing manages this ever-evolving list of licensed vendors.

A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, design, sound, smell, color, product configuration, group of letters or numbers, or combination of these, adopted and used by a company to identify its products or services and distinguish them from products and services made, sold, or provided by others.

The primary purpose of trademark is to prevent consumers from becoming confused about the source or origin of a product or service. Trademarks help consumers answer the questions “Who makes this product?” and “Who provides this service?” As consumers become familiar with particular marks and the goods or services they represent, marks can acquire a “secondary meaning,” such as indicators of quality. Certain common words and geographical locations can also acquire secondary meaning and are afforded protection under the trademark law. “Northern Arizona” is a geographical location, but it has also become a trademark for Northern Arizona University.

Trademarks help consumers answer another question: “Is this product or service a good one to purchase?” It is obvious to most people that Northern Arizona University does not make all or most of the manufactured products that carry the university’s trademarks. Through the university’s licensing program, companies have been authorized (licensed) to utilize the trademarks on a variety of goods and services. The University’s willingness to license these manufacturers or service providers extends to them very valuable intellectual property assets that provide consumers with access to products that they associate with the University.

Northern Arizona University has multiple logos, marks, verbiage that are trademarked. If you have questions on specific trademarks, please email

A royalty rate is the percentage collected by a licensor for the use of its mark.

  • A 12% royalty will apply if the item being produced is ordered by a university department (e.g., promotional items, department staff shirts/polos not required for work performance, giveaways, gifts, etc.).
  • A 14–18% royalty will apply if the item being produced is intended for retail (i.e., resold for profit) depending on the logo being utilized.
  • A 15% royalty will apply if the artwork includes one or more sponsor logos or logos of other businesses, regardless of whether the item will be sold or not.

There is no royalty applied for:

  • Non-resale print items purchased by Northern Arizona University for its exclusive use (such as brochures, letterhead, business cards, etc.) that do not include one or more sponsor/outside corporate logos. Please note: all print items are required to be purchased through NAU Printing Services.
  • Artwork that does not include an official Northern Arizona University logo/mark. Please email to see if your order falls into this category.
  • NCAA Athletics student-athlete gear required for team performance, Campus Rec Sport Club uniforms required for team participation (that are not being resold as fundraiser), championship rings for NAU Athletics, or staff uniforms required for work performance (e.g., scrubs, police uniforms, chef uniforms).

Departments are required to use their official NAU Unit Logo on promotional items and department orders and/or add a “qualifier” to their product.

Please visit the NAU Logo Portal for your official logo. If you have questions, please email

Anyone who wishes to produce commercial goods or services that bear university trademarks must obtain a license to do so.

If your company only sells finished products and does not produce, alter, repackage, or finish collegiate products in any way, you are not required to have a license. Retailers should ensure that the collegiate products they purchase are produced by licensed vendors. Retailers who wish to screen or embroider their own products or source the products from an associated company must obtain a collegiate license. Visit for more information on becoming licensed.

A trademark license grants individuals, organizations, or corporations authorization to produce commercial goods or services bearing the university’s trademarks. Visit the CLC Get Licensed page for details and available license types.

The licensing process can vary in length due to a number of factors outlined on CLC’s Licensing Information page. Because the Restricted Licensee application is streamlined, it’s generally much faster. The Standard and Local application processes take varying amounts of time to complete based on the number of institutions being sought. Generally, the fewer the number of institutions requested, the more expeditious the application process. In the spirit of fairness, we cannot accommodate “rush” requests as all requests are treated equally and on a first-come, first-served basis.

The university’s licensing agent, CLC, has extensive information on their website detailing collegiate licensing. These web pages, combined with this FAQs section and the CLC FAQ section, should answer most of the questions you may have about the licensing process. Additional questions can be directed via email to

Obtaining an NAU license will require a great deal of thought, research, and commitment. With hundreds of companies already licensed to produce a wide range of products, only those companies who exhibit a commitment to the collegiate mark, have established productions and distribution capabilities, and/or offer a new or unique product will likely be granted the opportunity to obtain a license. Please visit to begin the process.