Using Auburn Trademarks as an Affiliate Group
In partnership with the Auburn Alumni Association, the Office of Trademark Management and Licensing wants to ensure that all Auburn Club members have access to purchasing Auburn logoed merchandise or AU product co-branded with Club logos.
The use of Auburn University’s name or other Auburn trademarks implies association with the University. Therefore, any product, packaging or signage bearing Auburn University trademarks (with or without club logos) must be purchased only from those manufacturers licensed to produce merchandise bearing AU marks. Using an officially licensed company to manufacture a product ensures that the company has provided appropriate product liability insurance and has fulfilled contractual requirements to protect Auburn University and its valuable intellectual property.
To ensure consistency in the use of Auburn’s name and logos, all designs must be approved by the Office of Trademark Management & Licensing before production. The licensed manufacturer will submit the design for approval on behalf of the organization for formal approval. However, Clubs should use the form below to request use of marks on product prior to contacting a licensee to place an order.
Use of trademarks or other intellectual property owned by a third party must be approved by that entity in writing and submitted to the Licensing Office along with the desired artwork. For example, if a Club wishes to use artwork, slogans, or trademarks created by someone not associated with a club, a written release allowing for such use is required before Auburn will grant design approval.
Royalties collected for using AU marks support the University’s general scholarship fund. Therefore, royalties are due on all AU merchandise regardless of the purpose for which it is produced. This includes items given away at conferences, workshops, or clinics where a registration fee is required and the price of the premium item has been included in the fee. Fundraising projects that use AU’s trademarks on products are not exempt from royalty payment.
Procedures for Obtaining Art & Product Approvals
- Organizations should submit an Affiliate Group Trademark Request Form found at the bottom of this page.
- Once a project has received preliminary approval, the organization will receive an email with the next steps, which include selecting an officially licensed vendor and sending their order information to the company.
- Once a licensed vendor is selected, use the trademark reference # in future communication with them. The organization should work with that company on artwork and finalizing the order.
- The licensed manufacturer will submit the design, along with the trademark reference # to AU’s Licensing Office for final approval.
- If there are questions concerning the design, contact AU’s Licensing Office at (334) 844-5180 or email email@example.com.
- All artwork must be submitted by the licensed vendor to AU Licensing for final/formal approval before production and revisions may be required at that time.
Affiliate Group Product Designs
- All product must include the official affiliate group logo.
- Affiliate Groups may use the interlocking AU, tiger eyes, and eagle logos, as well as Auburn word marks as graphic elements, but may not use vintage logos or the university seal. Organizations may incorporate the Aubie image into their designs. However, the depictions of Aubie need to be reasonably consistent with university’s then-current depictions of Aubie, including with respect to size/portion and current demeanor and characteristics. In the depiction, Aubie may be shown as wearing items that reflect the organization’s location.
- Aubie’s name and/or likeness should not be used in the overall branding of an organization or project without formal approval from the Aubie Program and the Office of Trademark Management & Licensing.
- Designs may contain graphics that reflect the Auburn campus, but the design cannot incorporate the organization logo or event into the graphic or verbiage or alter the Auburn graphic or verbiage to reflect the purpose of the department or event.
- No patterns or designs may be placed inside Auburn logos.
- Contract printing – which occurs when blank goods are taken to a licensee to be embellished with Auburn trademarks – is not permitted. The entire product must be purchased from the licensee. This ensures that the product meets quality and safety standards and labor code requirements.
- If any proposed design includes sponsor names/logos, the list of sponsors must be submitted for prior approval as part of the Affiliate Group Trademark Request Form (included along with Intended Use). The following applies to use of sponsor names on product:
- The organizations’s name must be prominently included in the design to communicate that the partnership is with a particular affiliate group and not an endorsement by the University as a whole.
- The sponsor name must be separate from the university logo.
- The reference to the sponsor is in name/logo only and should not be an advertisement for their business.
- Based on the scope of the program, a rights fee may be assessed to the sponsor to associate its name with Auburn University.
Affiliate group products and other designs that incorporate Auburn University’s name and/or trademarks may not reflect any of the following:
- Elements that state or imply Auburn University’s endorsement of or affiliation with non-university entities, products, services, viewpoints, and/or political candidates, parties and activities.
- Discrimination against any person or group based on age, race, ethnicity, disability, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status;
- References to gambling, alcohol (in a non-educational manner), tobacco, illegal substances, illegal activity, violence, weapons (that are not germane to the department’s official activities), profanity, or sexually explicit designs or products; and
- Use of a former or current Auburn University student-athlete’s name, image or likeness.
The University has nearly 500 licensees nationwide and numerous in state and locally licensed companies from whom you can purchase club merchandise. If a Club is are unable to locate desired product, please contact the licensing office at (334) 844-5180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.