Institutions Use Trademark Licensing to Qualify & Control Access to Products
Many colleges, universities, non-profits, and businesses in North America have established and carefully conform to strict procedures for protecting the value of their intellectual property including their highly valuable logos, insignia, official seals, and nearly any image of or representing the institution. Approximately twenty (20) large universities maintain internal legal departments or trademark licensing departments that ensure compliance with university procedures internally and among companies that manufacture products bearing the trademarked and otherwise protected images. Even a casual private photograph of a college campus is considered the intellectual property of most universities.
Affinity Classics is licensed by national licensing agencies in order to gain access to the trademarks of leading colleges, universities, athletic conferences, and athletic events. These include large institutions that license independently of the leading licensing/marketing agencies.
The trademark licensing and marketing firms represent the interest of institutions, process applications by companies offering products, vet each company, enforce insurance requirements, scrutinize all products, receive royalty payments, remit royalties to client schools, process contracts between companies and colleges, monitor from compliance of the affiliated companies, and enforce trademark licensing policies on behalf of their client institutions.
Chairs for Your Favorite Institution
If you do not see your college or university listed on this website, you may be correct to assume that we may not have a standing, licensing relationship with that school. However, we may, indeed, have a relationship that can be facilitated by establishing a special single-use or one-time license. We do this often, because many schools would love to have us create a special chair for their alumni on an exceptional basis. And we are very happy to do this!
So, don’t despair! We can contact your school and negotiate permissions to make your chair with your schools’s Official:Logo and, in some instances, their Official Seal! Just call us!
Call us and discuss what you want. We will do our best to serve both you and your Alma Mater!
Official Collegiate Product Hangtags
Affinity Classics and other manufacturers of collegiate products must demonstrate compliance with licensing requirement of each institution in order to protect the branding or identity of the institutions. These schools and organizations identify their protected trademarks that are installed in or applied to commercial products via special hangtags or labels. These identifying tags and labels are required for these products to ensure that the products are officially licensed. Affinity Classics tags each chair with a visible Collegiate Licensed Product Hangtags and Licensed Collegiate Product Hangtags for clear and easy identification.
Licensing Fees and Royalties: Benefits and Effects
Licensees like Affinity Classics are required to pay fees for the permission to reproduce trademarked property (logos) in and on manufactured products that represent colleges and universities. These fees which are typically paid to trademark and licensing departments are specified within licensing agreements with each institution that is represented. Most of these agreements are predicated on certain assumptions regarding benefits.
The first benefit assumption of the trademark licensing process is that the licensing mechanism ensures a high quality of products that represent an institution. Many colleges and universities generally believe that only the companies that are serious about quality and long term relationships with institutions will be willing to pay the required fees. Also, manufacturers and resellers are aware that, if perceived standards of product quality, social responsibility, and conduct are not met, the companies will lose their privilege of future use of the pertinent trademarks.
The second benefit is that much or all of the resulting revenue goes to scholarship funds at some schools while, at others, moneys are allocated to athletics. Large universities, with budgets in the billions of dollars range, very actively pursue royalty revenues. Of course, some of that revenue is used to support the trademark & licensing program, itself. Most academic institutions demand fees in the form of “royalty advances”. Nearly all schools simply keep the unused portion of the advances – a popular source of income.
Many buyers of collegiate products are unaware of the demands for product sales at their own alma maters. Sales of collegiate products bring significant revenues into athletic, scholarship, and general funds through these licensing programs. College Chairs are treated slightly differently from T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other apparel by virtue of both royalty rates and advance payments. Apparel are normally met with higher fees. When one wonders about a surprisingly high price of a college product, one should consider the probability that a large portion of the retail price will fund various programs at the corresponding college or university.
The necessary royalty payments to the institution, specified by trademarks and licensing may lead to price increases in collegiate products. Non-apparel products including chairs typically justify royalty fees from 10% to 15% of final invoice price. Apparel products are typically assigned higher rates. Also, most universities require advance payments that vary from $50 (either one-time or per year) for small schools up to $2,000 in advance for “prestigious” universities. One can see, immediately, what these fees can do to the prices of collegiate products.
Recently, there has been a disturbing trend among colleges and universities in the U.S. is to raise royalty rates. Many small schools have recently increased rates from 8% and 10% to 10% and 12%, and some larger institutions have raised their rates up to 14% and 18%. As royalty rates creep higher and higher, prices of collegiate products are necessarily increased by manufacturers and retailers. There are a few, very exceptional universities that ask only a royalty fee with no advances.
While some chair manufacturers resort to manufacturing overseas in order to maintain high margins and still offer competitive prices, Affinity Classics, builds all of its high-quality chairs in the United States, and combats rising royalty rates and advance fees as much as possible by maintaining significantly lower margins and by holding prices as low as possible.
For more information about Trademark Licensing, phone Affinity Classics at 866.748.2230,