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What's in a name? Well, if all goes as planned, about $2 million a year, as the University moves forward in coming months to trademark the name "Harvard" worldwide.
Impressed with recent trademark successes in Japan and the U.S., administrators said yesterday they intend to license the University name and shield in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Eventually, they said they hope to make the trademark truly international.
"The appeal of Harvard is worldwide," said Neal Kent, who is marketing the Harvard trademark in Australia and New Zealand. "Collegiate licensing is a lifestyle. It's a part of Americana. Harvard reflects the League, and they look for this overseas."
The Harvard trademark experiment, which started nearly four years ago in Japan, is designed to protect the University name from misuse and misrepresentation. Harvard hopes to use the money from licensing agreements to support student scholarships, said Vice President for Finance Robert H. Scott.
"As you see a Harvard sweatshirt on the streets on Bangkok, you know it has gone to help the scholarship program," said Scott, who pushed the Corporation to begin the trademark program.
Still, despite the University's trademark enthusiasm, it will be a few months before Harvard sees a profit on the venture, said Sylvia J. Struss, who administers the program. Straus attributed this delay to high initial costs and bureaucratic red tape involved in the process.
"It really depends on the country," Straus said. "Canada is very much like the U.S., so it's easy to find manufacturers already producing Harvard items and have them sign a licensing contract."
The costs are further increased because the University wants to trademark not only its name but also two versions of the "Verities" shield--one with an ivy wreath and one without.
"Each class [of trademark], with all the lawyer's fees, will cost several thousand dollars," Struss said. "We'll be inthe hole for some time yet."
Down the line, however, administrationofficials are confident that the internationaleffort will be worthwhile--particularly as afinancial endeavor.
The University eventually wants to bring inbetween $500,000 and $2 million from the program,Scott said.
In fiscal year 1989-90, Harvard reaped $200,000in profits from Japan alone, where the program hasbeen running for four years. In Japan, thetrademark has been used on items ranging from anexpensive "Harvard" wristwatch to a reputablesportswear line manufactured by a firm called "TheHarvard Company."
With the U.S. trademark program just monthsold, Struss said the results have also pointedtowards a strong return. Only seven months afterthe program began, the University had made $25,000in profits.
"This year, after expenses, we will net between$300,000 and $500,000 in the U.S.," Struss said."That will go directly to student aid."
As the University seeks to increase its controlover the Harvard trademark, Struss said thatindividuals and manufacturers producing unlicenseditems with the University name will be targeted.
"We want to protect the name from misuse,"Scott said. "You can imagine the possibilities. Onashtrays, for example, or on the seats of pants.But we're not going to stop its use when money canbe made."
The University will also be looking out for"bootleged" Harvard insignia on T-shirts at otheruniversities, including the common "HarvardUniversity, the Something University of theNortheast" design.
"Harvard is the brand name for the highestcaliber education," Kent said. "I don't want tooffend Yale or any other of your archrivals, butthey [make the T-shirts] because of that."
Despite the strict new policy on trademarks,Struss said the University has not had muchtrouble when it has confronted manufacturersviolating the trademark rules.
"We've had very good luck so far," said Struss,adding that Harvard has inspectors looking forillegal items throughout the country. "When wefind people printing without a license, we askthem to stop or to take a license."
Struss said that Harvard undergraduates andtheir organizations are not exempt from thetrademark policy. According to the University'spolicy, these groups must contact Harvard StudentAgencies and produce the Harvard-affiliated goodsthrough an authorized manufacturer in the Bostonarea
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