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Licensing FAQ’s   arrow

Working with the University’s Trademark Licensing Office, this set of FAQ’s provides information regarding licensed vendors and other issues around purchasing, both apparel and speciality items, and print materials, at the local level. Below are answers specific to questions we have received from Extension personnel around the state.

Recorded session about University Licensing

PowerPoint Presentation

University Licensing Program FAQs

Click here for Information on Colorado State University’s Licensing Program.

How much does licensing cost?

There is a fee to get licensed and is a minimum of $100 and depends on what type of license, products, etc.

Why should we use a licensed vendor?

To produce items bearing the University name, trademarks, or logos, vendors must be officially licensed. Items intended for internal use by CSU employees are exempt from royalties but still may only be produced by licensed manufacturers. Items intended to be sold externally (e.g. T-shirts for fund raising) are subject to royalties. Royalties are collected by the licensed manufacturer at the time of sale and are paid to the University through the Collegiate Licensing Company and are funneled into Athletics for scholarships and to the licensing program to cover administrative costs. Unlicensed vendors that produce Colorado State items are in violation of state and federal trademark law.

What if the local vendor I want to use is not licensed?

It may not be cost effective for a vendor to become licensed and may make more sense for you to use an existing licensee. Licensing is given to a vendor to use any and all CSU logos, graphics and artwork. Licensing is not limited to a certain logo, graphic, artwork, department, etc.

It’s fine for a county/ area office to pay the fee, if they choose to do so. It’s a one-time fee (actually a deposit on royalties, so the money is actually money saved by the business). The county or area office wouldn’t be the vendor—the actual vendor would have to fill out the CLC forms and go through the process, but the county or area office could pay the fee. The vendor needs to be checked out by CLC to ensure that they have an appropriate amount of insurance and that they abide by our fair labor standards.

What if the vendor does not get a license?

All products must be approved by the University’s Trademark Licensing Office. Failure to obtain a license or approval from the University’s Trademark Licensing Office is a violation of federal trademark laws and will be grounds for seizure of all non-approved merchandise bearing the University’s marks. It can also result in jail time and numerous fines if convicted.

Are there any exceptions to the licensing requirement?

Exceptions to established licensing guidelines may be granted on a case-by-case basis. A group must be able to identify a significantly increased cost due to location (increased shipping costs) to qualify for a waiver. Licensing waivers will not be granted for savings related to production or material costs. Groups that obtain waivers will need to observe graphic standards guidelines. To request a waiver, please contact Lindsay Connors at with relevant pricing information and a proof of your proposed item.

How long does it take to get licensing approved?

It takes about a month to get an internal/restricted license. Regular licenses cost more and take about 6-8 weeks.

Is there a ‘short list’ of approved CSU vendors, typically used by Extension?

Internal Vendors

ProCorps Images

Categories of groups and subgroups

4-H clubs are considered student organizations and must follow the same rules. For example, a student organization may elect to not follow graphic standards and licensing, but to do so, they cannot even use “Colorado State University” or “CSU” in any form.

Following that logic, a 4-H group may choose to go with a different vendor and not follow graphic standards, but they wouldn’t be able to use “Colorado State University” along with the 4-H or county affiliation. (CSU Graphic Standards Toolbox, pp. 20-21)

What about working with my local county print shop?

Is there a streamlined process to get approval to do so? (what to do if your county requires the use of their vendors/departments as part of the partnership agreement)

In an effort to support your local economy, please know using a local or county print shop is acceptable. However, to ensure University and Extension graphic standards compliance, all new materials must be reviewed by CSU Creative Services by emailing for approval prior to printing or production.

The Colorado State University communication policy (#5-0150-001) reads:

Colorado State University has a central communications model to ensure quality and adherence to a brand and graphic standards. The office of the Vice President for External Relations is responsible for creating publications, websites, social media, and other communication vehicles that reflect the character of the University. All communication materials produced by campus units and departments must be reviewed and approved by the Division of External Relations.

Joanne Littlefield
Director, Outreach and Engagement
Colorado State University Extension
(970) 491-4640 (office)
(970) 980-5880 (cell)
June 5, 2013