Your Guide to Licensing and Merchandising for Greek Items

Are you a member of Greek life? You're not alone.

There are over 9 million Greek members nationwide. There's also no shortage of events and occasions to showcase your letters. Formals, mixers, and philanthropy events are just a few of the many times you'll see Greek letters.

Making merchandise is a great way to promote your sorority or fraternity. But before you print shirts, you should know about licensing for Greek items.

Licensing is an essential factor in Greek attire. Unfortunately, it's often overlooked due to a lack of information. Here are some tips on Greek life apparel and licensing.

Licensing Greek Items

Your fraternity or sorority has no doubt made a bunch of shirts. But did you know that you might be infringing on your organization's trademark?

U.S. law trademarks Greek organization logos. A landmark case in 2000 defended Sigma Chi against Taylor Corporation.

Taylor Corporation was guilty of trademark infringement. As with brands like Starbucks or Target, trademark infringement is a punishable offense.

The logos aren't the only things that require licensing. Greek letters, mascots, coat of arms, crests and other identifiers are trademarked too.

National Greek organizations defend their culture and heritage through this trademark. The trademark prevents any unauthorized greek life apparel from surfacing.

The exception to this rule is making Greek items for non-commercial use. This could be when you're making items that you share with friends but don't sell. You do need a license if you want to produce, print, or craft Greek merchandise.

Why Worry?

You might think that creating merchandise for your Greek organization is no big deal. Think again.

National Greek organizations are fierce in their defense of these trademarks. Unlawful merchandising can result in a cease and desist letter.

Trademark owners can also bring forth a civil lawsuit for an injunction on anyone who violates the trademark.

You may also have to pay expensive fees. If you end up getting sued, you will have to pay for monetary damages.

These damages include all money from profits on merchandising. You'll also have to consider legal fees such as hiring an attorney.

Don't risk it. Get a license to avoid the headache of trademark infringement.

Getting Licensed

Greek attire is still a huge piece of the college wardrobe. But you can't produce Greek merchandise without a license.

So how do you get a license? It's easier than you might think.

First off, individual members of your chapter can't grant you a license. You still need to get a license from your organization or a licensing company.

The easiest method is to go through Affinity Greek licensing. Affinity licensing can distribute licenses for over 100 Greek organizations.

You can fill out an online application, a sample of your merchandise, and pay a processing fee. You will then sign an agreement and accept their terms of use.

Afterward, you will have full permission to create your Greek apparel.

Your Greek Life Apparel

Are you looking for Greek items and apparel? We can help.

Check out our custom Greek clothing for sororities and fraternities nationwide.

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