Licensing and Trademarks

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Licensing and Trademark Program is designed to promote, enhance, elevate, and protect the Institute’s identity and brand and ensure the proper and appropriate use of its name, logos, and trademarks. Rensselaer has registered many of the names, logos, and trademarks of the Institute with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the state of New York.

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. Trademarks may include slogans and taglines, and may even be in the form of a distinctive color, a sound, a scent, a product configuration (e.g., a unique perfume bottle shape), or trade dress (e.g., the look and feel of a restaurant). A trademark need not be registered to obtain the rights to it. Simply by using or displaying a distinctive mark, one may acquire trademark rights. Normally, a trademark will appear on a product or its packaging, or in advertising to identify the mark owner’s services. Rensselaer owns many trademarks, several of which are registered in the United States and abroad.

A consistent, coordinated presentation of the Institute's identity enhances the reputation of Rensselaer for excellence and helps identify the many benefits the Institute provides. The more consistently graphic elements are used, the stronger the visual identity, and the stronger the visual identity and use of consistent wording, the greater the awareness and recognition of Rensselaer.

The goals of the Rensselaer Licensing and Trademark Program are to:

  • Ensure the proper use of trademarks, service marks, logos, and insignias on products associated with Rensselaer and RPI Athletics to maintain standards in keeping with the quality of the Institute.
  • Protect the Institute’s reputation, good name, and image by permitting only appropriate uses and assuring that only quality products bear the Institute's marks, including its name, initials, or logos through requiring that official licensees be used to imprint or produce any products bearing Rensselaer or RPI Athletics marks unless they are produced on campus by authorized departments.
  • Generate royalty income to benefit students.

The Licensing and Trademark Program is administered by the Office of the General Counsel, Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, and RPI Athletics, in consultation with other Institute offices and the Rensselaer Licensing Advisory Committee.

Rensselaer registered marks, as well as other names, seals, logos, and other symbols and marks that are representative of Rensselaer, are the intellectual property of Rensselaer and may be used solely with permission of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Goods offered for sale to the public bearing the Rensselaer name or marks generally must be licensed, unless otherwise authorized in accordance with established policies and procedures.

The Office of the General Counsel oversees the Institute’s trademark licensing program. Any items offered for sale to the public bearing the Rensselaer name or marks must be licensed by the Institute or its authorized agent. There are no exceptions. The licensing trademark program works closely with the Rensselaer community and others to identify unauthorized uses of the Institute’s trademarks and carefully examines all reports it receives of possible infringement of the Rensselaer name and marks. For information on the licensing program, or if you are concerned about possible unauthorized use of the Rensselaer name or trademarks, contact the Office of the General Counsel at (518) 276-6211.