Frequently Asked Licensing Questions

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.

What qualifies as a trademark, logo or symbol?
Any mark, name, logo, symbol, nickname, abbreviation, word, mascot, slogan, uniform insignia or landmark that is associated with Lake Erie College and Storm Athletics and is distinguishable from any other college, university, team or organization.

Who must be licensed?
Any individual or company that wishes to receive Lake Erie College's express permission to use any or all of its trademarks/logos on products or services sold in the marketplace, whether wholesale, retail or online. Other activities, such as some noncommercial use of trademarks/logos, may or may not need to be licensed. Some activity may constitute fair use or free speech so as not to require license. Advice in that regard should be sought from your own legal counsel.

How long does it take to obtain approval from Lake Erie College?
A decision on any license request will depend on the nature and extent of the use being applied for, the number of trademarks involved, the number and diversity of products for which the trademark or trademarks will be used, and other possible factors, such as whether the College believes there is a need to seek legal advice on the application. However, in most cases, an answer will be provided in 30 days or less.

What products can be licensed?
Lake Erie College will not license activity which it believes would disparage Storm Athletics, the College or any of its trademarks, or 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 license. Advice in that regard should be sought from your own legal counsel.

How can you obtain a licensing application?
You can obtain an application for a License Agreement directly from Strategic Marketing Affiliates. This application can be downloaded from their website at: www.smaworks.com.

Does all artwork have to be submitted for approval?
Yes. All art designs must be submitted and approved by Lake Erie College's Sports Information and Marketing office prior to products being produced..

How do we use Lake Erie College's Trademarks with other Trademarks (co-branding)?
Any use of Lake Erie College marks with other trademarks must be approved by the Lake Erie College Sports Information and Marketing office, or through a College contract.

 How much does it cost to become licensed?
The cost for a Standard License Agreement is:

  1. $100 non-refundable application fee
  2. 10% royalty fee for Lake Erie College products

The cost for a Restricted License Agreement is:

  1. $75 non-refundable application fee

 What is the difference between the Standard License and the Restricted License?
The Standard License is used by companies that desire to produce licensed 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 this license agreement may be sold to the general public.

If I am a student or from a department of Lake Erie College, do I need to ask permission to use a trademark?
Yes. Student Organizations and College Departments must complete and submit the licensing approval form. It is important for Lake Erie College and Storm Athletics to protect the trademarks and controlling their use will maintain their value.

If the product is not going to be resold, does it have to be produced by a licensed vendor?
Yes. All items bearing Lake Erie Storm Athletics marks must be produced by a licensed vendor whether they are for resale or not.

Are any requests exempt from royalties?
Generally, items are subject to royalties. However, each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What does Lake Erie College do if unlicensed merchandise is discovered in the marketplace?
Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit or infringing and subject to all available legal remedies.

When am I able to use the trademarks of Lake Erie College?
Any trademark which identifies or is associated with Lake Erie Storm Athletics may not be used without prior, expressed, written permission from the Sports Information and Marketing office. A questionnaire is available to assist you with providing pertinent information so that your request can be considered.

How long do requests usually take to process?
Typically, the review process is 2-5 college-business days. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with Lake Erie College policies.

How can I obtain a list of licensees?
A list of licensees can be obtained through Strategic Marketing Affiliates, the Office of Public Relations or the Local Vendors and Lake Erie College Licensees page.

Is it acceptable to alter a Lake Erie College Trademark?
No. At no time can Lake Erie Storm Athletics Trademarks be altered. Altering a mark would hurt its integrity. This would dilute the strength and value of Lake Erie Storm Athletic’  marks.