FAMU determined to protect its brand

The bookstore carries approved FAMU apparel. Photo courtesy of famu.edu

FAMU sent an infringement notice last  month to students and alumni about the university’s copyright issue in an effort to protect its brand.

The notice sparked a discussion on businesses and creatives who profit off of FAMU.

The notice originated in FAMU’s Office of General Counsel and the licensing director. It stated if an unlicensed vendor uses or misappropriate any marks or logos that are “exclusive” property of Florida A&M University, it is considered infringement.

If an unlicensed business is found using the university’s colors, logos, images or nicknames, they must immediately cease and desist. Images, products and references must be removed from all social platforms. If the vendor does not comply with the requirements, then legal actions will be issued.

According to the notice, the university enforces this to ensure “its brand and reputation are protected.” Issuing the notice sparked open conversations not just among the student body but alumni as well. It was a conversation starter of what the future holds for designers who openly use FAMU’s logos.

Once released on social platforms, many users were in an uproar with many taking sides either agreeing or disagreeing with the notice. Some users believe the notice is holding back designers who make creative FAMU apparel.

Paraphernalia is a staple on all college campuses; students and alumni want the latest styles so they can showcase their school pride. Most of FAMU’s apparel is located in the bookstore, but recently many students expected more creative items.

“I feel as though FAMU doesn’t have a wide variety of selections or options, I usually wait around homecoming to get my paraphernalia. That’s when the good vendors come out,” architecture student Eric Floyd said. “Maybe FAMU needs to branch out and get more creative ideas versus what they have now; the bookstore has good hoodies but that’s about it.”

New businesses are taking heed regarding the released statement. Newly established entrepreneur Dyamonde Williams is aspiring to sell FAMU paraphernalia of her own to show her pride and love for the university.

“The apparel section at the bookstore, in my opinion, isn’t the best, I love and take pride in my university. That’s why I decided to start my business centered on FAMU, I am glad they released the infringement notice,” Williams said. “This notice allows me to strategically plan out my next steps so my business can distribute product to the student body and alumni legally.”

FAMU encourages businesses that use the FAMUs colors, images, or logos to complete an application and become an official licensed vendor. To complete an application, go to www.clc.com or you may contact the university Office of General Counsel.