When Is a Trademark License Needed?

Everyone must obtain prior approval before offering any merchandise or services that display the Navy’s trademarks. Federal law prohibits unauthorized use of Navy trademarks in any manner likely to falsely imply that any product, service, or business emanates from or is affiliated with the Department of the Navy or is sponsored, authorized, endorsed, or approved by the Department of the Navy. Visit our how to apply page to learn more or to obtain the Navy's trademark application.

Application Considerations

License requests are reviewed based on a rigorous set of standards that enable the Navy to evaluate the quality of the proposed licensed products and their suitability for sale and to confirm that products are manufactured in a manner that complies with the Navy's social, environmental and product safety regulations as set forth in the Navy's trademark license. As part of the review, the Navy will verify:

  • The manner in which the trademarks will be used
  • The marketability of the products
  • Your history of compliance with business and licensing standards
  • Your standing in the business community
  • That your merchandise is manufactured in a responsible manner under fair, ethical labor practices that comply with laws addressing safe and just working conditions and adhere to environmental stewardship and regulations

Trademarks will not be licensed for use in a manner that would reflect negatively on the Department of the Navy, or degrade its name, reputation, or public goodwill. The Navy reserves the right to approve or reject any proposed use. Navy trademarks will not be approved for use on:

  • Alcohol products
  • Tobacco and other smoking-related products
  • Consumables
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Products related to gambling or lotteries
  • Firearms
  • Sexually-themed products
  • Products containing profanity, harsh or hateful language
  • Products deemed defective or of poor manufacturing quality

Navy trademarks will not be licensed for use in a manner that creates a perception of endorsement of any non-federal entity or its products and services, or for any purpose intended to promote ideological movements, socio-political change, religious beliefs (including non-belief), and specific interpretations of morality or legislative/statutory change.

Domain Names: Licensees may not register domains that include the Navy’s trademarks unless approved by the Trademark and Licensing Office.

Labeling Requirements

The Navy requires all licensees to properly identify all licensed products with approved hangtags, holographic stickers and/or labels purchased through JPatton, the Navy's contracted vendor for holographic trademark products.

The licensee (manufacturer) will attach these hangtags on their officially licensed and approved products. These labels reassure the consumers that they are purchasing a licensed product and helps the Navy monitor the market place for infringements.

Enforcement

Trademark law requires trademark owners to actively protect their marks. The Navy vigorously pursues and, if necessary, takes legal action against those using its trademarks without authorization. Reports of unauthorized trademark use come from many sources including our licensees, the military and civilian workforce, and members of the public. Those who suspect they have encountered an unauthorized uses of Navy marks are encouraged to contact the Navy Licensing Program at onr_tmlicensing@navy.mil. Report IP Theft Button