Licensing Guidelines

Products using the university’s name and marks should be of high quality in design, material and workmanship and must be of such style and appearance as to have a positive impact on the school’s reputation.

All uses of Cal Poly trademarks on products must incorporate the appropriate trademark designation symbols, e.g. ® or TM. No one other than Cal Poly can claim copyright or trademark rights in or seek to register any design that uses the Cal Poly name or marks. Unauthorized use of Cal Poly trademarks is prohibited.

The university requires that all individuals, organizations, departments, and companies, internal or external to the university obtain prior approval when producing any product bearing the Cal Poly name and or mark, regardless of method of distribution. Merchandise bearing the university name and marks produced without proper authorization may be considered counterfeit or infringing and subject to all available legal remedies, including, but not limited to, seizure of the merchandise.

Design Standards

The following are general design standards that will be used in the approval of designs:

  • Designs must be of high quality and appropriately portray the image of Cal Poly.
  • Use of the university seal is restricted for use on official documents and select consumer products.
  • Cal Poly trademarks may not be used in any manner that suggests or implies Cal Poly’s endorsement of other organizations, companies, products, services, political parties or views, or religious organizations or beliefs.
  • Cal Poly trademarks may not be used in conjunction with the name or trademark(s) of any other entity without the prior written permission of that entity. If permission is granted by the Trademark Licensing Coordinator to use both the Cal Poly trademark and another party’s trademark in a design, the trademarks must be distinct and separate from each other, and Cal Poly’s trademarks must not be overshadowed or diminished in any way in comparison to the other entity’s trademark. Approval of any such dual use of Cal Poly trademarks will be limited to instances where there is a compelling institutional priority in allowing such a use.
  • Cal Poly’s name or trademarks may not be used in any way that discriminates or implies discrimination against any persons or groups based on age, ancestry, belief, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status, or in any other way that would be a violation of Cal Poly’s anti-discrimination policies or practices.

Cal Poly trademarks cannot be used in connection with certain types of products. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Products that could be used to injure or kill
  • Alcohol-related products
  • Tobacco-related products
  • Illegal drug-related products
  • Sexually suggestive products or language
  • Gambling-related products
  • Products that present an unacceptable risk of liability
  • Products harmful to the mission or image of the institution

Certain artwork or designs will not be approved for use in conjunction with Cal Poly’s trademarks. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Art depicting or implying the use or endorsement of:
    • Alcohol
    • Illegal drugs
    • Tobacco products
    • Firearms or other weapons
    • Racist, sexist, hateful, demeaning or degrading language or statements
    • Profanity
    • Sexual acts
    • Statements impugning other universities
  • Art or a design incorporating trademarks or copyrights not owned by Cal Poly, unless written permission for such use satisfactory in form and substance to Cal Poly is obtained from the trademark holder or copyright owner, and approved in advance by the Trademark Licensing Coordinator.

Approval to use the Cal Poly name or trademark for a one-time application only (for example, a t-shirt) does not constitute approval to use the name or trademark again, or in connection with any other item, or to change the design in any way, without seeking additional approval.