Procedures related to requests from internal campus programs requesting trademark protection
If your department or program is considering trademark protection for a name or logo, here are a few things to consider. Please answer the following questions before contacting the Trademark Licensing office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding trademark registration, visit www.uspto.gov.
- Is the department/program willing to invest the money (departments pay this cost but the process is coordinated by the Trademark Licensing office). Budget #__________________
- Is the department willing to enforce a trademark (including costs, if any) in the event you do find someone infringing on your mark? (A trademark is worthless if you don’t.)
- Would the damages be significant if someone were to use your mark without protection, and if someone were to use it in a different class, would that be damaging?
- Is the equity of the mark in the name, or a logo?
- How widespread is your name/logo being used? (local or national)
- Would it cause harm if someone across the country were to use the mark?
- Is the name/logo used independently, or always in association with the University name?
- Is the intent to simply keep someone else from using your name or logo, or is the intent to use it commercially to generate revenue and/or promote a service?
- Has the name been approved and adopted by the department/University, and how long has it been in use?
If a department/program decides a trademark is needed:
Call/e-mail the WSU Trademark Licensing office at 509-335-2202 or email@example.com. Staff will determine if a mark is needed and/or if it should be a federal or state registration. If federal, the Trademark Licensing office will do a simple search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office site to see if any obvious conflicts are found. If not, then the Trademark Licensing office will contact the Assistant Attorney General and/or outside counsel who will then do an official search. Trademark Licensing staff will apprise the department/program representative as the process moves forward.
There are no guarantees when applying for a trademark. It is possible to spend a couple thousand dollars and still not end up with a registration.