Alabama's Trademark Licensing Program
For more than 171 years, The University of Alabama has enjoyed a rich heritage as an institution of higher education and as a major force in college athletics. In 1981, The University of Alabama created a licensing program to protect the marks/logos of the University, as well as establish cooperative relationships with licensees and retailers to assist in the further development of a market for "officially licensed products of The University of Alabama."
Licensing revenues are directed to The University of Alabama to support scholarship programs, as well as operations in other University departments. Royalties are paid by the over 550 officially licensed manufacturers that produce products bearing the marks and logos of Alabama. The Licensing Program promotes relationships by which both the University and its licensees will benefit.
Royalty income from the licensing program is directed to The University of Alabama's Nation Merit Scholarships, the Paul W. Bryant Museum and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The marks of the University of Alabama are controlled under a licensing program administered by The Collegiate Licensing Company. Any use of these marks will require written approval from The Collegiate Licensing Company.
The Licensing Process
A. Commercial Purpose
The University of Alabama has strict rules and guidelines regarding commercial use of the institution's marks and logos. For any entity outside the University to engage in commercial use, they must become an official licensee of the University before any production of goods or services.
Commercial use is defined as any attempt to utilize the marks/logos/image of The University of Alabama for promotional or financial gain by any outside company or individual. For commercial use, an approved licensed manufacturer will be required to pay a royalty, and any other fees associated with becoming a licensee, to the University in exchange for the authorization to use the trademarks of the University. All potential licensees must first be approved by the University and granted a license, as well as any products submitted for production. All royalties due the University must be paid or legal action will be taken to subsequently protect the use and value of The University of Alabama's trademarks.
B. Limited Licensing Program
The University does offer a Local License through our licensing agent that allows local businesses the chance to become a licensee if they are not interested in elaborate or multi-school licenses. Also, we do allow limited licenses in the way of promotional fees charged, and these are designated and approved on a case-by-case basis.
C. Fees (Appendix A - chart of CLC fee structures)
There are standard fees associated with becoming a licensee of The University of Alabama. The current standard royalty rate is 8.0%, although the University has the right to raise or lower royalty rates as it deems necessary. Additional fees are required, such as advances on royalties which may vary by product category, as well as administration fees required by the licensing agent for processing.
II. Licensing Process
A. Contact CLC
Individuals or businesses interested in becoming licensed with The University of Alabama should contact the school's licensing agent, The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) for information on becoming a licensee and to start the paperwork process.
Another option is for the individual or business is to visit http://www.clc.com/ in which they may electronically access the licensing agent and start the licensing process (see below).
B. Licensee Approval Process
a. CLC Review
After the required paperwork is submitted to CLC (including any needed insurance information and marketing plans, etc.), the potential licensee and company information is sent to the University for review and approval. CLC will also forward any samples of product for the University to review production quality, and all relevant information to assist the University in its decision-making process.
b. University Review
The University will then review the company information, the product and its quality, and make a decision on whether or not to approve the company to be a licensee of The University of Alabama. The approval process may include all or some of the individuals from the licensing agent, the Licensing Office, administration or the Licensing Advisory Committee.
c. Decision Notification
Approval (or disapproval) of the licensee by The University will then be sent to CLC, who, in turn, will notify the potential licensee of the decision. Once approval has been granted, the licensee may proceed with submitting products/artwork for approval for retail.
I. Registered Trademarks
A. Alabama Trademarks
The University of Alabama trademarks may be any artwork or logographic work relating to the presentation of the following: The University of Alabama, Alabama, Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, U of A, Bama, the official University seal, Big Al, and other designs, symbols, art, seal words, or groups of words that have come to be associated with the University.
A. Registered Trademarks (Wordmarks)
III. Other Trademarks
The following are registered trademarks (wordmarks) for The University of Alabama:
i. The University of Alabama®
iii. Crimson Tide®
iv. U of A®
vi. Roll Tide®
vii. Tide Pride®
IV. Use of Trademarks
The image of the helmet used in a licensed product or other purpose should receive a ™. Although it is not a Federally/State registered mark of the University, the University does claim ownership of that image for significant years and therefore a ™ is used to designate the University's claim to rights to that image.
B. Fight Song
a. The "Yea, Alabama" fight song is not "owned" by the University, but ownership is actually found to be with Carlin America in New York. Permission to use the fight song for University-related purposes (i.e. by the Band, official University use, Media Rights-holder, etc. and not for commercial gain) is granted to The University of Alabama by Carlin America.
b. Any licensee or other entity wishing to use the fight song for commercial or other purpose, outside official University use, must first obtain permission from Carlin American. Some fee may be involved. The Carlin America can be reached at (212) 284-3896. Contact name is Mary McDowell.
C. Block/Script "A"
The image of a stand-along block or script letter "A" used in a licensed product or other purpose should receive a ™. Although it is not a Federally/State registered mark of the University, the University does claim ownership of that image for significant years and therefore a ™ is used to designate the University's claim to rights to that image.
The use of the word "Tide" used in a licensed product or other purpose referencing the University should receive a ™. Although it is not a Federally/State registered mark of the University, the University does claim ownership of that word for significant years and therefore a ™ is used to designate the University's claim to rights to it in any reference to the University.
A. Licensed Products
Approved licensees may submit products bearing the marks/logos of the University for approval. No use of University trademarks are to be used without prior consent from The University of Alabama's Licensing Department.
B. Campus Use
a. Campus departments and student organizations are allowed to use certain marks and logos of the University with prior consent from the Trademark Licensing office. Use is limited to promotional items and printed materials that are for official campus or organizational use, are not associated with any derogatory materials or purpose.
b. Submissions for trademark use by campus or departmental use must be submitted to the Licensing office in writing, with design or explanation of use attached, along with type and quantity of materials being produced and who is producing them.
c. A written consent will be given and design will be filed. Any changes necessary must be made prior to final production, and a copy of the request and approved design must be kept on file in the Licensing Office.
d. All approvals are for initial production runs only, and any additional production runs or other uses of marks must have additional approval from the Licensing Office. This also applies to annual events/designs/giveaways that must have approval each year from the Licensing Office.
For More Information:
Athletic Marketing & Trademark Licensing Office
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
The University of Alabama
393 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0393
Telephone: (205) 348-7731
Facsimile: (205) 348-9691
The University of Alabama is represented by:
The Collegiate Licensing Company
290 Interstate North, Suite 200
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Telephone: (770) 956-0520
Facsimile: (205) 955-4491