Franklin & Marshall College's licensing program ensures appropriate uses of the College's name, logos and marks on manufactured goods. The College works with the agency Learfield Licensing Partners (Learfield) to manage its licensing program. This page answers frequently asked questions about the Franklin & Marshall College Licensing Policy.
Q: Do I need a license to produce a t-shirt, hat, athletic bag, pen, key chain or other manufactured good that displays the Franklin & Marshall name or F&M or Diplomats logo?
Entities that produce any manufactured good/product bearing the Franklin & Marshall College name, marks, or logo incorporated into the design must obtain a license from the College through the College's licensing agency, Learfield Licensing Partners (Learfield). This includes vendors producing goods/products on behalf of a College administrative office or academic unit (such as for employee or volunteer uniforms, or give-aways), though these vendors must pay licensing royalties only on products intended for resale.
Entities manufacturing licensed goods/products, including entities that produce goods/products for College administrative or academic units and student groups at F&M that are not intended for resale, are required to use an approved Learfield vendor if the College trademark, mark, logo or symbol are incorporated into the proposed design.
For situations in which academic or administrative units of the College (licensors) commission goods/products for College use (uniforms or giveaways), the vendor is not required to pay royalties.
Q: What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, name, phrase, symbol or any combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes goods or services of one party from those of others. A trademark is a brand name. Rights in trademarks arise as a result of the use of the marks in commerce to identify the source or origin of goods and services. In addition, a trademark remains the property of the owner so long as the owner continues to use it properly and protects its authenticity as a trademark.
Q: What is a mark, logo or symbol?
The full name of "Franklin & Marshall College," its abbreviated names "Franklin & Marshall" and "F&M," and any other name, logo, symbol, nickname, abbreviation, word, mascot, slogan, uniform insignia or landmark consistently recognized and associated with Franklin & Marshall College as distinguishable from any other College, team or organization are protected. Stylized designs or treatment of these names or logos are considered "marks" and "symbols," and also are protected. This includes the College name, variations of the "Diplomats" logo, the College seal and other associated marks.
Q: Is it acceptable to alter a Franklin & Marshall College trademark?
At no time can the official logos of Franklin & Marshall College be altered. Altering a mark dilutes the strength and value of Franklin & Marshall marks. Please consult the College's Visual Identity Guide, published by the Office of Communications, for acceptable uses. For the purposes of graphic design and impact, the College's marks may appear using fonts and styles that differ from the official College logos. These uses must be reviewed and approved through the licensing process (more information on this in a later section).
Q: Who is the College's partner for licensing protection?
Learfield Licensing Parners, LLC 8900 Keystone Crossing Suite 605 Indianapolis, IN 46240 Phone: (317)669-0808 Fax: (317)669-0810
Q: How does the process work to have a good/product produced that uses Franklin & Marshall's protected name, marks or logos?
- Once you, your company, or organization (or College office or department) has decided you want to produce a good /product bearing the College's name or marks, search the Learfield list of approved Vendors that produce this product. The list of vendors is updated monthly.
[PLEASE NOTE: If you are a Franklin & Marshall administrative office, department or student organization that has any concerns about the appropriateness of the design concept you are pursuing, you may first choose to review the concept with the Office of the Vice President for Administration before choosing a vendor to develop the design. This may help avoid production delays that arise if a vendor submits, via Learfield, a design that must be altered or refined.]
- Seek quotes from several of the vendors to get the best value (the College has determined that the cost of products from an approved vendor is no more expensive than from a vendor that is not licensed). Be sure that the vendor can meet your required delivery time before committing.
- If the vendor that you would like to use is not on the list, encourage your vendor of choice to apply to Learfield to become a Licensee so you can use that vendor in the future. (See more information on this in a later section).
- Select the vendor and work with the company to create the design.
- The vendor will submit the design for approval by Learfield and the appropriate College office.
- Reviews are completed usually within two business days of submission.
- After the design is approved, the vendor will manufacture and ship the goods.
Q: If I am a student or from a department of Franklin & Marshall College, do I need to ask permission to use a trademark?
All products for students or academic and administrative units of the College that use any of the College's trademarks or logos — including uniforms (athletic or departmental), athletic wear, give-aways, fundraisers, etc. — must use a licensed vendor and proceed through the regular licensing process. This ensures that vendors are using quality design files, and that designs meet legal standards for intellectual property.
Q: Are there products Franklin & Marshall will not license?
Franklin & Marshall College will not license activity which it believes would disparage the College or any of its trademarks, or which would be libelous, slanderous, scandalous, offensive, vulgar or constitute an unfair trade practice, or otherwise reflect negatively on the College. Some activity may constitute fair use or free speech so as not to require a license. Advice in that regard should be sought from your own legal counsel.
Q: Can Franklin & Marshall College's trademarks be used with other trademarks (co-branding)?
Franklin & Marshall's trademarks can be co-branded with other trademarks. The vendor must submit the design through Learfield as the vendor would normally do; however, the design will be reviewed by additional College offices for content, appropriateness and relationship between brands.
Q: How can the vendor I usually work with become an approved licensee with the College and Learfield?
If your vendor is not already an approved licensee of Franklin & Marshall College, your vendor can obtain an application for a License Agreement directly from the College's licensing agency, Learfield Licensing Partners, LLC (Learfield). This application can be downloaded from the company's website at: http://www.learfieldlicensing.com/licensing.
Q: Does all artwork for licensed products have to be submitted for approval?
All art designs that include the College’s protected trademarks, logos and marks must be submitted by the vendor to Learfield for review and College approvals prior to production.
Q: How much does it cost for a vendor to become licensed?
Learfield Licensing Partners, LLC (Learfield) has licensing fees for a Standard License and a Restricted License, both of which are subject to annual assessment and review. General information defining the two licenses is posted below.
Q: What is the difference between the Standard License and the Restricted License?
The Standard License is used by companies that desire to produce licensed goods/products for resale to the general public. The Restricted License is used by companies that desire to only produce licensed products for internal consumption at the selected institution. No products produced under a restricted license agreement may be sold to the general public.
Q: Are any requests exempt from royalties?
Generally, items are subject to royalties. However, each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For instance, in some cases, items intended as free give-aways to students, parents or alumni for a one-time use may be exempt from royalties. As representative units of the College, academic and administrative offices of the College are licensors of the Franklin & Marshall marks and do not assign royalties for goods commissioned by vendors unless those goods/products are intended for sale or resale. But in every case, a royalty-free licensing agreement must be in place in advance of production of the goods/products to be distributed.
Q: If the product is not going to be resold, does it have to be produced by a licensed vendor?
All items bearing the Franklin & Marshall College marks must be produced by an approved Learfield licensed vendor, whether or not they are for resale. This ensures that vendors are using quality design files, and that designs meet legal standards for intellectual property.
Q: What action could Franklin & Marshall College take if unlicensed merchandise is discovered in the marketplace?
Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit or infringing on the rights of the College, and such activity may be subject to all available legal remedies. The College reserves all rights in such situations.
Q: How can I obtain a list of licensees (vendors) to produce my product?
A list of licensees (vendors) can be obtained through the College's licensing agency, Learfield Licensing Partners, LLC, or by downloading the list posted below.