Trademarks and Licensing for Student Groups

Use of U of A visuals on printed materials or swag are a great way to show university pride and feel connected to the student experience. The below information has been prepared to guide student groups through the process for using U of A trademarks and to ensure University of Alberta policies are followed.

In order to use U of A trademarks, your student group must be both a Recognized Student Group (RSG) and you must have received express written approval to use U of A trademarks from the Trademarks & Licensing Office in External Relations (VER). Trademarks of the U of A include (but are not limited to) its name, the “ualberta” and “UAlberta” moniker, the suite of U of A logos, any Athletics team names and logos, and any other marks registered for use by the University of Alberta. See Registered Trademarks & Logos for a full list of the U of A’s trademarks.

Unsure if your group is a Recognized Student Group? Visit BearsDen for a current list or visit the Students’ Union to register your student group.

How to Order Merchandise

Step 1 - U of A Trademark Approval

Receive approval from the Trademarks & Licensing Office to use U of A trademarks.

Step 2 - Starting your Design

Maintain a clear separation and appropriate spacing between the RSG name and/or logo and the U of A name and/or logo when incorporating logos into your design. 

Step 3 - Design Approval

Connect with the Trademarks & Licensing Office for design approval. When an RSG wants to purchase swag that contains a U of A trademark, External Relations will require, at a minimum, the following information:

  • What are the items?
  • How many of the items?
  • Who is the supplier of those items? (i.e. The Bookstore or merchandise vendor)
  • When does the RSG want to purchase those items?
  • How will the items be distributed/what is the purpose for the items? (i.e. sold for fundraising, given away as promotional items)
  • What is the requested design and/or logos and/or names on the items?

Step 4 - Placing an Order

Purchase swag from our list of licensed vendors or through the Bookstore.

Names and Logos

When selecting a name or beginning to design a logo for your student group it’s important to keep in mind Recognized Student Groups may use the university’s name to show its status as an RSG at the U of A only when the RSG name includes “club,” “association,” “student group” or similar designation within the RSG name. 

  Do

  • RSGs are only able to show affiliate status with the U of A if the RSG includes “club,” “association,” “student group” or similar designation within the RSG name.
  • Examples that are allowed include: University of Alberta Dance Club, Biochemistry Graduate Students’ Association of the University of Alberta.

  Do Not

  • RSGs are not allowed to use the university’s name or logo or any part of the university's logo within the RSG name's name or logo.
  • RSGs may not use any Athletics’ team names or logos or parts of those logos in the RSG’s name or logo.
  • Examples that are not allowed include: University of Alberta Panda Fans, UAlberta Robotics.

Once a name has been selected, Student Group Services will review all RSG names and logos upon registering your student group to ensure compliance with university policies. Those that are not compliant will require the review and approval of External Relations.

Note: If your external affiliation requires a naming convention that is not aligned with University of Alberta trademark policies, please proactively reach out to External Relations at toolkit@ualberta.ca before submitting your registration form to Student Group Services.

Co-Branding

Co-branding goes beyond sponsorship acknowledgements that may require the placement of multiple logos in one area on the same item. Co-branding includes any placement of multiple names and or logos, whether on printed media, swag or digital media, and includes anything such as co-written papers or books, advertising (whether in print or online or on social media), research or scientific posters or proposals, fundraising event promotions/proposals/swag, publications, signage, etc. Examples include adding the University of Alberta logo alongside your student group to advertise an event and/or including the University of Alberta logo (after receiving External Relations approval) alongside another third-party logo. 

If your group is planning an event or item where co-branding is to be used, contact sgevents@ualberta.ca.

Note: U of A trademarks may not be used with the name or trademark of any other entity without prior written permission from External Relations.

  Do

  Do Not

  • Do not use any University of Alberta Athletics trademarks as they are solely reserved for use by Athletics.
  • Athletics trademarks include but are not limited to GUBA, Patches, Paw Print, Golden Bears, BearTracks bear, the Circle A, etc.

Printed Materials and Swag

When considering use of U of A trademarks on items such as posters, flyers, etc., RSGs must first receive written approval from External Relations. On swag or other promotional items such as t-shirts or other apparel, mugs, water bottles, etc., RSGs are required to have a license from External Relations to use either the name of the U of A or any other of its trademarks.

RSGs are required to use vendors who are licensed through External Relations or the Bookstore, and are required to obtain approval from External Relations for any swag products before they are produced. Any uses of the U of A trademarks must be compliant with the U of A’s policies and guidelines on trademarks, brand, and visual identity. For a list of licensed merchandise vendors, visit the Licensed Vendors page.

  Do

  • Request a license from External Relations when using U of A trademarks on swag.
  • Use licensed vendors or the Bookstore to purchase swag.
  • Use clear separation and appropriate spacing when using the RSG name/logo and U of A name/logo on swag.
  • If using a markup on swag for fundraising, report what the markup will be to External Relations.

  Do Not

  • Do not use any University of Alberta Athletics trademarks as they are solely reserved for use by Athletics.
  • Athletics trademarks include but are not limited to GUBA, Patches, Paw Print, Golden Bears, BearTracks bear, the Circle A, etc.

Separation of RSG Logo and U of A Trademarks

On any swag, there must be a clear separation and appropriate spacing between the RSG name and/or logo and the U of A name and/or logo. For example, on a t-shirt, a separation would be the RSG logo on the front of the shirt with the U of A logo on the sleeve. On a mug or pen, the logos would need to be on opposite sides of the item. External Relations reserves the right to disapprove of the layout or design of any RSG’s swag items that may be considered to be misleading about the relationship between the RSG and the U of A.

Athletics Trademarks

RSGs may not use any University of Alberta Athletics trademarks. Those marks are solely reserved for use by Athletics. Athletics trademarks include but are not limited to GUBA, Patches, Paw Print, Golden Bears, BearTracks bear, the Circle A, etc.

Markup

External Relations permits RSGs to mark up sale prices on swag for purposes of fundraising, but the RSG must report to External Relations what that markup will be. RSGs are also required to report to External Relations what the RSG will do with any unsold or undistributed items. The U of A has a Code of Conduct regarding items that bear its trademarks. What this means is that any swag must be obtained through either the Bookstore or merchandise vendors of the U of A, because those suppliers have provided proof that any supply chains for manufactured products are compliant with fair labour practices and sound environmental principles required of licensed vendors to the U of A.

Licensing

The license agreement is a simple, legal document that outlines the RSG’s responsibilities to the U of A in order for the RSG to use the requested name and/or logo. The license will require a signature of at least one of the students who is able to legally sign on behalf of the RSG (usually an executive member of the RSG), and that license will apply only for that academic year. The RSG may apply each new academic year to renew the license by submitting a request to the External Relations through BearTracks or an email to sgevents@ualberta.ca.

Obtaining a License

Student Group Services (SGS) will identify any RSG that has a requested name and or logo that is not compliant with the U of A’s policies around its trademarks. SGS will notify the RSG during the registration process that they will need to contact External Relations about obtaining official permission to use the preferred name and/or logo of the RSG.

External Relations will respond either via BearsDen or via email to the RSG on whether or not the RSG may use its requested name and/or its requested logo. In some instances, the RSG will be required to obtain a license agreement to use its preferred name and or logo.

Websites and Social Media

Recognized Student Groups may not purchase domain names that include the name of the U of A nor the “ualberta” moniker. Any RSG found to have purchased domain names that include the name of the U of A or the “ualberta” moniker may be required to assign that domain over to the U of A (the RSG will still own and operate the content of the website). RSGs are not permitted to reproduce any U of A trademarks on websites or social media accounts.

RSGs must request written permission from External Relations approving any exceptions to this rule. Any decisions from External Relations are final.

  Do

  • Reach out to External Relations with questions pertaining to the use of U of A trademarks on RSG websites or social media.

  Do Not

  • Do not purchase a domain name that includes the U of A name or "ualberta" moniker.
  • Do not use U of A treademarks on RSG websites or social media accounts.