Trademark Licensing

FAQs

ORDERING FAQ’S  [Jump To]

Where can I order my products from?
What if I would like to order from a company not licensed?
What if I need a specific brand or product?
Will I be charged royalties on my order?
Where do I get print quality marks?

TRADEMARK FAQ’S   [Jump To]

What is a trademark?
Why are U of T marks necessary?
What marks are included?
How do I register a U of T trademark?
How is this program enforced?
What is the difference between trademarks and other forms of intellectual property?

LICENSING FAQ’S  [Jump To]

Who is Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA)?
What is SMA’s role in U of T’s Trademark Licensing?
Who can or should become licensed?
What type of licenses are available?
What is the difference between a Restricted and Standard licensee?
What products must be licensed?
Are there any products that would not be licensed?
What are the terms of a Trademark License with U of T?

ROYALTY FAQ’S  [Jump To]

What are royalties and how are they calculated?
Is anyone exempt from royalties?

ORDERING FAQ’S

Where can I order my products from?
All University of Toronto branded merchandise must be purchased from a licensed supplier.

What if I would like to order from a company not licensed?
Our wide range of licensees almost guarantees you will be able to find any promotional merchandise at different price ranges. If, however, you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the Trademark Licensing Office directly to discuss your situation.

Under NO circumstance is merchandise to be purchased from a non-licensed vendor. The Trademark Licensing Office will work with each individual to find the product, or license a new company that can supply it.

What if I need a specific brand or product?
The Trademark Licensing Office has been working to license suppliers that can offer some of the highest demanded brands. For specific brands or merchandise, contact the Trademark Licensing Office.

Will I be charged royalties on my order?
Royalties are only charged on merchandise that is to be sold at a retail store. Internal departments and faculties are exempt from paying royalties on promotional merchandise.

Where do I get print quality marks?
The Trademark Licensing Office can supply vector artwork ONLY to licensed suppliers. If you would like to purchase branded merchandise and do not have the appropriate artwork, please contact the Trademark Licensing Office and they can supply the appropriate mark to the licensee.

U of T marks will not be given out to any students or individuals.

TRADEMARK FAQ’S

What is a trademark?
A trademark is either a word, symbol, image, design, slogan, or even a distinctive sound, which identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one party from those of another. A trademark identifies the source of a product or service that indicates certain quality standards inherent in the product or services. All variances of names and visual representations of the University of Toronto are considered U of T’s “trademarks.” The University owns these trademarks and carefully manages their use. The “U of T” trademarks are the exclusive property of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto. The marks include any trademark, service mark, name, logo, insignia, seal, design, or other symbol or device associated with inferring a relationship with, or referring to the University of Toronto.

Why are U of T trademarks necessary?
With over 70,000 current students and over 500,000 alumni, as well as many friends and partners of the University of Toronto wishing to show their relationship to the University, protecting and managing the proper use of the name, reputation and brand of the University is very important.

The registration of University of Toronto trademarks is direct evidence of exclusive ownership across Canada protecting U of T marks from improper use and discouraging potential infringement. The registration of U of T trademarks in respect of any wares or services gives the University the exclusive right to the use of those marks in respect of those wares or services. This prohibits the use of the registered trademark by another person or party in selling, distributing or advertising wares or services in association with a confusing trademark or trade name.

What marks are included?
For the purposes of the University of Toronto Licensing Program, any representation that includes the use of the crests, symbols, and word variations of the University of Toronto will be actively policed and promoted. This includes, but is not limited to, the marks of faculties, colleges, schools and departments of the University.

The marks owned by the University of Toronto are currently protected by registration under the Canada Trade Marks Act. New registrations are added when necessary. The University presently has over 250 registered marks. U of T’s trademarks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The University’s Name, University of Toronto, The University of Toronto, U of T, The U of T seal, The U of T Crest
  2. Traditional, modern, historic variations, Varsity Blues, The T with Maple Leaf and the maple leaf alone
  3. Great Minds for a Great Future, Hart House, U of T Mississauga, U of T Scarborough
  4. Other U of T trademarks include:
    1. Any variation of the University’s name
    2. Campus landmarks such as Convocation Hall, University College, Hart House
    3. Names of athletic teams, i.e., Varsity Blues
    4. Names of affiliated organizations, such as graduate schools (Rotman School of Management), and student groups
    5. Any other word, phrase, or image which implies association with the University, such as “Go Blues!”

How do I register a U of T trademark?
U of T divisions, departments, recognized student groups and other on-campus organizations that wish to have their U of T mark registered, particularly those marks that have revenue generating implications, should submit an application in writing to the Trademark Licensing Office. Please indicate whether the marks will be used for revenue generating purposes and attach copies of the marks in the application. Such an application can be based on actual use or intended use of the mark. The application filing fee of $300 and the registration fee of $200 as required by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is invoiced directly to the division or department making the request for registration.

The mark is then scrutinized by an examiner for registerability and is also advertised in the a federal trademarks industry newsletter called the Trade-marks Journal for possible opposition by other interested parties. If the application is to proceed to registration and passes the examination and publication stages, a declaration proving actual use must be filed before the registration is granted.

A key factor in protecting your mark is to start using the mark and continue to use it, displaying continual property management. Trademark use must be continued and not abandoned to assert ownership. The first person to use a trademark in Canada acquires the right to the trademark subject to earlier filings of the proposed use of a trade mark.

How is this program enforced?
Legal protection of University of Toronto trademarks is afforded to the University under Section 9 (Prohibited Marks) of the Canada Trade-marks Act: No person shall adopt in connection with a business, as a trademark or otherwise, any mark consisting of, or so nearly resembling as to be likely to be mistaken for any badge, crest, emblem or mark of any university.

University staff make regular visits to U of T retailers to ensure that only officially licensed merchandise is being sold. Furthermore, trademark licensees, retailers, as well as U of T students and alumni, are excellent resources for identifying counterfeit merchandise and/or the unauthorized third party use of the U of T name and symbols. The University has a vested interest in protecting its name and must aggressively enforce its licensing policies by identifying unauthorized use of its marks and stopping the proliferation of unlicensed goods in the marketplace.

Another function of the licensing program is controlling the quality of product that carries the name of the University. We want to be sure the blank garments or products, the screens or embroidery, and the graphic representations of the name and logos are accurate, tasteful and of high quality. The University reserves the right to ask to see samples of products before they go to market and periodically throughout the term of the license.

The University of Toronto is affiliated with the Worker Right Consortium (WRC) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA), two non-profit organizations that assist in the enforcement of manufacturing Codes of Conduct adopted by colleges and universities. They conduct independent monitoring and verification to ensure that the University’s Code of Conduct is upheld at companies where U of T products are produced.

What is the difference between trademarks and other forms of intellectual property?
Trademarks are only one form of intellectual property that can be protected through federal legislation. The other forms are: patents, for new technologies; copyrights, for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works, performance, sound recording or communication signal; industrial designs, for the shape, pattern, or ornamentation applied to an industrially produced object; and integrated circuit topographies, for the three-dimensional configuration of the electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.

LICENSING FAQ’S

Who is Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA)?
Strategic Marketing Affiliates provide licensing representation to over 200 colleges and universities. Founded in 1997, they have quickly grown to become a leader in the arena of collegiate licensing. The Indianapolis-based SMA team combines extensive licensing and marketing experience with a forward-thinking attitude in keeping its approach fresh, energetic, and, above all else, effective.

What is SMA’s role in U of T’s Trademark Licensing?
SMA will handle all the daily administration of the Trademark Licensing program. This includes, but is not limited to: licensing new vendors, renewing licenses, collecting fees and royalties and providing the artwork approval system. They will also assist in reviewing potential suppliers for compatibility with the university. Their experience and contacts will allow the University to source a wider range of quality products at an affordable price.

Who can or should become licensed?
All manufacturers and companies that intend to produce goods bearing any U of T trademarks must be licensed.

Upon completion and approval of a Licensing Application, non-exclusive licenses may be awarded at the manufacturer or distributor level. A limited number of licenses will be awarded in each product category: Clothing, Recognition & Promotion, Furnishings, Uniforms and All Categories. A potential licensee must indicate the product categories for which it wishes to become licensed at the time of application.

What type of licenses are available?

There are two types of licenses awarded – Standard and Restricted.

Standard licenses are awarded to companies and manufacturers producing U of T products to be sold direct to the public and University community through the U of T Bookstore. Royalty fees are applicable to these retail products and are presently set at 8% of the wholesale cost of the product. Royalty fees are submitted to the University in quarterly royalty payments.

Restricted licenses are awarded to companies and manufacturers producing U of T products to be given away for promotional, marketing, recognition, administration, awards and development purposes. Orders for these products can only be placed by authorized U of T community members. There are no royalty fees applied to promotional products. Recognized campus groups, on-campus organizations and authorized individuals do not pay any royalty fees on the purchase of U of T branded items.

What is the difference between a Restricted and Standard licensee?
A standard licensee can only fulfill orders placed by the U of T Bookstore. Standard licensee products are intended for retail sales at the Bookstore or direct to the public. Standard licensees can fulfill non-retail orders from the U of T community provided the order is placed through the Bookstore.

A restricted licensee can only fulfill orders placed by authorized members of the U of T community. Restricted licensee products are intended for promotional, marketing, recognition, administration, awards and development purposes.

What products must be licensed?
All U of T branded apparel and products must be licensed.

Typical products licensed by the Trademark Program are T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters, shorts, caps, ties, and other articles of clothing. Other licensed goods include key chains, watches, clocks, jewellery, mugs, glassware, stationery products, leather goods, rugs, phones and lamps.

Are there any products that would not be licensed?
Some products may pose a risk to the end user and could result in the University being held liable for damages and/or injuries. Other products considered inappropriate with the values and mission of the University will also not be authorized. Associating the University’s name or marks with some causes or organizations may mistakenly imply an endorsement by the University. In these cases the University will refuse to authorize the use of its marks.

What are the terms of a Trademark License with U of T?
The terms of a Trademark License Agreement with U of T typically include:

  • One year Licensing Agreement with Strategic Marketing Affiliates
  • Annual administration fee of $120
  • Comprehensive general liability insurance policy of $2,000,000
  • Compliance to the mandatory use of Design Approval and Product Delivery Forms
  • Licensees may be required to submit product samples for approval prior to production
  • For standard licensees only – 8% royalty rate on the “Wholesale Price” of the U of T goods

ROYALTY FAQ’S

What are royalties and how are they calculated?

The University generates revenue through dividends from the licensing program, referred to as “royalties”, that are paid to the University by U of T licensees for the right to use the approved marks. Revenue generated from royalties are intended for community and campus development projects directed through Ancillary Services.

Royalty fees are applicable to all retail products and are presently set at 8% of the wholesale cost of the product. U of T divisions, recognized campus groups, on-campus organizations and authorized individuals purchasing U of T branded products for promotions, marketing, recognition, administration, awards and development are not subject to any royalty fees.

A Royalty Report and royalty cheque are due within 20 days following the end of each quarter. A royalty report must be submitted regardless of whether any royalties are due or not.

An advance fee may be required of new licensees to facilitate the marketing of University of Toronto products. Should these non-refundable fees be paid, they are held for credit against future royalty payments.

Is anyone exempt from royalties?
Sales of U of T branded products to U of T divisions and authorized student groups and individuals are exempt from the 8% royalty charge, provided the department, student group or individual does not sell these insignia goods without prior consent and authorization from the University. This does not include the University of Toronto Bookstore which is a retail operation.

Any external group, company, or organization, on-campus or off, wishing to use any University of Toronto Marks should purchase its goods from properly licensed suppliers who are contractually obligated to abide by University policy and remit due royalties back to the University.