The MPSSAA has partnered with K12 Licensing to help schools manage and implement trademark and licensing programs. As the nation’s largest and oldest prep licensing agency, K12 Licensing has a proven record of success that no other agency can match. Since 1997, K12 Licensing has helped more than 5800 high schools across the country implement and maintain an effective trademark licensing program. K12 Licensing helps to administer the application process, collect royalties, process insurance and factory disclosures, assist with marketing, and provide legal guidance.
Trademark Licensing Program Overview
A trademark licensing program gives all Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) schools control over their logos and marks, thereby ensuring the quality and consistency of all the schools’ merchandise. It also enables MPSSAA schools to generate revenue from the sale of merchandise bearing their unique logos and marks which is used to support and enhance many school programs. Outside of the schools, the trademark licensing program creates a cooperative and positive working relationship with the manufacturers and retailers that work with the MPSSAA and their schools.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any word mark, slogan, symbol, design, logo, or combination of these elements which identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one party from others.
Do I need to “trademark” my school’s name, mascot, etc.?
Technically, no. Since you are the “first user”, those marks belong to your school; however, it is always wise to be on the safe side. In most states, this can be done online and at very little cost.
What if my school uses a professional or collegiate mark?
You can still license the name of your school, mascot, and colors. If your primary logo belongs to another organization, you cannot license it. However, K12 regularly assists schools with logo redesign and can help you create a new mark for the school.
Where does the royalty revenue come from?
The manufacturer of the product pays a royalty that is a percentage of the wholesale price. This royalty revenue gives schools additional revenue to support school programs.
How does one know that a product is licensed?
Like the other associations and leagues (NCAA, NFL, NBA, etc.), the product will carry a distinct label and/or hang tag that will identify the product as an “Official NFHS High School Product.”
What if I find product without the hang tag?
If you have a licensing program and find product without the hang tag, please contact the K12 Licensing representative listed below and let them know what kind of product it is and where you found it.
How does this affect my booster club?
You own your marks; therefore, you can choose to exempt some groups from producing licensed products for fundraising efforts. Keep in mind, however, that using licensed product for fundraising generates additional revenue from the royalty paid by the manufacturer.
Want to learn more about licensing?
If you are a school who wants to learn more, please reach out to the K12 Licensing representative listed below. They will be glad to assist with any and all questions you may have.
Licensing Account Executive