Licensing

How marketable are FHSU products?

FHSU is a mid-sized university that supports many activities and organizations suited for generating revenue for your business. FHSU has an alumni base of 42,000 to whom products can be marketed. Many campus institutions and organizations have regional, national, and in some cases, worldwide recognition. Examples include the Sternberg Museum of Natural History; the FHSU Alumni Association; The Plymouth Schoolhouse, which is sponsored by the FHSU chapter of Phi Delta Kappa; the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center; and the FHSU musical groups and others who perform during the annual Encore Series. FHSU sponsors a full program of intercollegiate sports for both men and women. The Tigers are members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, competing at the NCAA Division II level. FHSU athletes have excelled over the years both on and off the field of competition. The men hold three national basketball titles and several cross country championships. Our baseball team was runner up in the NCAA II World Series. The women also possess a national basketball championship. In addition to basketball and cross country, Tiger men's teams compete in football, indoor track, wrestling, baseball, golf, and track and field. The Lady Tigers also compete in volleyball, softball, cross country, golf, tennis, and track and field. Men's and women's soccer will be added in the fall. Countless FHSU men and women athletes have been named All-American, All-Conference and All-District. Additionally, a large percentage of the athletes, who number more than 300, are honor roll students.

What is the licensing program?

Fort Hays State University operates a licensing program to provide legal protection for its identity marks. To protect the university’s image, and to protect the university from liability, Fort Hays State University has implemented a program that establishes ownership and regulates the use of its name and other identity marks.

We are a mid-sized university with a long record of highly successful athletic programs, many other popular activities and an alumni base of 38,000. Therefore, we enjoy a demand for commercial products that capitalize on our name and image.

Although the university once charged royalty fees for the use of its protected identity marks on commercial products, all royalty fees have been discontinued in order to encourage wide dissemination of our image. However, all businesses are required to become licensed by submitting an agreement and paying a $50 annual fee, acknowledging FHSU’s ownership of its marks. In addition, all uses of the university’s protected identity marks must be presented to the Office of University Relations for approval prior to manufacture. This approval is required for all uses, commercial or otherwise. Please contact the Office of University Relations for further information about the FHSU licensing program. Contact University Relations for a current list of vendors. 

Is there a difference between becoming licensed and getting permission to use the university marks?

Yes. Vendors who wish to manufacture goods or provide services that capitalize on the use of FHSU's identifiers must become licensed (Licensing Agreement Form). Organizations that wish to have FHSU products/materials manufactured must use licensed vendors and receive written permission from the Office of University Relations.

How does one receive design approval?

All artwork that includes trademarks of Fort Hays State University must be submitted to the Office of University Relations for approval prior to production. Art/product approval will be based on the appropriate and proper use of the university's identity marks. Because FHSU does not condone the use of its identifiers on certain products (e.g., smoking paraphernalia, etc.), approved designs must be resubmitted if they are to be reproduced on a different type of product. The approval service requires no fee. Efforts will be made to respond within one working day of receiving your request. Submit a photocopy or an original of your design with a detailed description (colors, reproduction technique, product on which image will be reproduced, etc.). Be sure that your name, address, telephone and FAX numbers accompany your submission. Our fax number is 785-628-4152 or you can e-mail your design to mridgway@fhsu.edu.

What criteria do you use to determine design approvals?

An Office of University Relations representative will determine whether your art is approved, approved with changes, or not approved. The criteria used to determine the status of the submitted design are:

  • Any verbal or visual references to FHSU must reflect positively on the institution.
  • Any reproduction of the university name must use an approved configuration of the name.
  • Any reproduction of the university logos and/or other symbols in the design must be accurate and must be marked with a "TM" next to FHSU identifiers.
  • No design that violates copyright laws or conflicts with the university's missions or policies will receive approval.
  • All artwork and products must be high quality — clean, camera-ready graphics, correct spelling, accurate information, etc.

When your design is approved, you will receive a signed, written approval form as proof to licensed vendors that the product is in compliance. We will keep a copy of your design, the approval form and copies of any additional agreements on file in the Office of University Relations. If your design is approved with changes, you may make the noted changes and proceed with your project without repeating the approval process. If your design is not approved, you may make suggested changes and resubmit the art for approval.

What must be licensed?

The program licenses items that make reference to Fort Hays State University in any way. This policy includes impostor items that cause confusion regarding their origins and items using graphic elements that imply affiliation with FHSU. In addition, using university identity marks in conjunction with other third-party trademarks (e.g., Disney, other universities, clothing brands, etc.) is subject to university approval. Any visuals or words that imply a connection to Fort Hays State University are considered the protected property of the university. The following is a partial list of the protected names, initials and slogans of the university and related organizations:

  • Fort Hays State University
  • FHSU
  • FHS
  • Fort Hays State
  • Ft. Hays State University
  • Ft. Hays State
  • The University of Western Kansas
  • The Sternberg Museum of Natural History
  • Sternberg Museum
  • Docking Institute of Public Affairs
  • Docking Institute
  • Telepower
  • Names and images of campus buildings, landmarks and associated icons

The words "Fort Hays" by themselves refer to the historic military fort and are not an acceptable identifier for the university.

What happens if I do not abide by the licensing policy?

FHSU first seeks to create an atmosphere of cooperation within the university and in the community. It is understood that errors and misunderstandings can and do happen and we will work with you case by case to negotiate a reconciliation. If, however, it is determined that a purposeful violation has occurred, FHSU has under trademark law the legal right to protect its interests. The burden falls largely on, but is not limited to, the manufacturer. FHSU has the legal right to confiscate and destroy, without compensation to the owner, any illegally manufactured product. FHSU has the contractual right to cancel a vendor's license and decline to conduct further business with that vendor. If it is determined that a university department or employee has bypassed the requirements of the university's licensing policy, payment by the business office or the FHSU Foundation can be withheld. If it is determined that a recognized student organization is in purposeful violation of the university policy, its status as a recognized campus entity can be canceled and funding withheld.

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