Licensing benefits our members because it's the best way to ensure that members receive quality products and services that adhere to Iota Phi Theta’s standards and positively represent their membership in our values-based organization. Additionally, royalties collected ultimately benefit members in the long run because they support scholarships, educational programming, leadership training, etc.
There are many benefits to being licensed, including exposure on GreekLicensing.com and Iota Phi Theta’s custom vendor roster, free participation in FindGreek.com (a website and mobile app with the largest collection of Greek products in the market), and the ability to market your company as officially licensed. Becoming licensed is the only legal way to utilize Iota Phi Theta’s marks. Also, Iota Phi Theta directs members to only patronize licensed vendors and to look for vendors that are using the Official Licensed Product seal (only available to licensed vendors).
Iota Phi Theta expects that high quality products and services are made available to members. Proposed products must be reviewed carefully in order to ensure that this expectation is met.
As a values-based organization, Iota Phi Theta must ensure that our marks are only used in ways that positively reflect our standards. And, they must maintain the integrity of our brand identity. Each product or service that displays one or more of Iota Phi Theta’s marks will have an impact on our reputation as an organization, so we have a responsibility (and a legal right) to uphold certain guidelines related to the use of the marks.
Iota Phi Theta is committed to distinguishing licensed products from unauthorized, infringing goods. Therefore, we participate in an official labeling system. Each hologram decal contains a unique serial number, which allows us to match products with licensed vendors, and indicates to consumers that the product is genuine. The labels – which are ordered through the Gateway – come in a roll of 2,000 and cost $42 plus shipping. We educate members to look for the Official Licensed Product (OLP) seal prior to patronizing a vendor, highlighting the importance of utilizing the seal in all forms of marketing and advertising.
First and foremost, the insurance requirement is in the best interest of the company that is making and selling products. While unexpected, if there were ever a product liability claim (faulty product, harmful ink, flammable fabric, dangerous materials, etc.), the legal costs would potentially devastate a small business (especially sole proprietors who don’t have a corporate veil protecting personal assets). Additionally, attorneys would unquestionably add Iota Phi Theta to the claim since the product was licensed. Therefore, any company wishing to use the trademarks of Iota Phi Theta must protect themselves and the Fraternity against unexpected claims. The cost for a $1 million policy ranges, depending on the type of products being sold and the state where the insurance is held.
Our licensing partner, Affinity Consultants, manages an official shopper program that allows customer-submitted receipts to be matched with reported sales, among other strategic auditing methods. They engage in these accountability measures in order to maintain a fair, level playing field among all of our licensed vendors.
While we make every attempt to be educational and proactive with the hope that all vendors will cooperate with Iota Phi Theta’s trademark rights, we realize that some will regrettably refuse to comply with our licensing requirements. When that happens, our licensing partner, Affinity Consultants, will follow up with all known cases of infringement until the vendor complies with our trademark rights. If a vendor continues to utilize our marks outside of a license agreement, we may have no choice but to turn the case over to our attorneys. Also, we will require that vendors pay back royalties from the date that Iota Phi Theta and/or Affinity Consultants first made the vendor aware of our ownership rights. Past infringements must be reported and royalties paid before we will approve any past infringing company as a licensee of Iota Phi Theta.