LICENSEES: apply for a TRADEMARK license

In the mid-1980's, Michigan State established a licensing program to protect the use of its logos and insignias on commercial products. The program has been successful for both the University and its licensees and retail partners. To continue expanding the program, the University has appointed The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to serve as its exclusive trademark licensing representative effective 7/1/2015.

Trademark License

Any person, business or organization with an interest in marketing products bearing the trademarks of Michigan State University need to first obtain a license through CLC. There are three forms of licenses available with MSU through CLC, a standard license, a local license, and an internal campus supplier license. A crafter license is also available directly through MSU licensing programs. These different forms of licenses are dependent upon the type of product and how it is manufactured.

New applicants are evaluated by the University Licensing Programs. Evaluation criteria include the following: product quality, market potential, ability to meet social compliance requirements, existence of current licensees offering a similar product, product liability exposure, licensing experience and appropriate fit with the university's image.

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Initial Costs

Costs associated with a trademark license include:

  • The initial application fee outlined here.
  • Advance: An annual advance payment against royalties for the following: $1000 apparel, $500 non-apparel items. 
  • Royalties: the royalty rate is currently 12% of your selling price for most product categories.
  • Your premium for a $1,000,000 product liability insurance policy. Please contact your agent for a cost quotation.
  • Your membership fee to the Fair Labor Association. Please contact fairlabor.org for more information.
  • Purchase of "Officially Licensed Collegiate Product" hangtags and hologram stickers. 

For more information on costs visit clc.com.

Licensing Process

CLC Review: After the required paperwork is submitted to CLC, the potential licensee and company information is sent to the University for review and approval. 

University Review: The university will require representative product sample(s). MSU will require that licensees are able to approximate PMS 567 green. We will also review the company information, the product, and its quality, and make a decision on whether or not to approve the company as a licensee.

Decision Notification: Approval (or disapproval) of the licensee by the university will be sent to CLC, who will notify the potential licensee of the decision. Once approval has been granted, the licensee may proceed with submitting products/artwork for approval.

Please expect a minimum of 8-12 weeks for completion of the standard license application. It is also recommended that you notify the Michigan State licensing office at the same time via licensing@union.msu.edu that you are submitting the CLC application so that we are aware of it. 


Code of Conduct

As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that all Michigan State University-licensed products are made in socially compliant factories and that all workers are treated fairly, we are members of both the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). Our minimum, and non-negotiable requirement, is that all Michigan State standard licensees seek and receive membership in the FLA and adhere to its code of conduct.  For more information, see the Social Responsibility page.


Sponsorship

If you are a business that wishes to use the Michigan State University Spartans name, trademarks or logos in association with your business, you will need an advertising or sponsorship agreement. For this, please contact Scot Schlesinger, Assistant Athletic Director for Sales & Marketing, at 517-432-7467.

Crafter License

For items that are homemade and intended for sale through craft fairs, a crafter license is available.