Frequently Asked Questions

  • What qualifies as a trademark?
    • A trademark is generally any word, name, phrase, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the good of one party from those of others.
      A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of services rather than goods.
      Trademark and service mark rights arise from the use of the marks regardless of whether or not the marks are registered. The Department of the Navy owns and controls both registered and unregistered (“common law”) trademarks. While it is not an exhaustive list, the contains just a few examples of Navy trademarks.
  • What products can be licensed?
    • Many products will be considered for a license provided they meet the requirements found in the
      application considerations section. The Navy reserves the right to approve or reject any proposed use.
  • My business serves Navy service-members and their families. Can I use the Navy trademarks in my business name?
    • Permission is required before using the Navy’s trademarks in connection with any commercial or non-profit activities.
  • Who needs a license?
    • Anyone interested in using the Navy name or trademarks for any purpose must secure approval before using.
  • I am a Navy veteran and have earned the right to use the Navy name and insignias.
    • First and foremost thank you for your service to our country. The Department of the Navy works closely with our Navy veterans and supports small business ventures. Please and follow the steps listed in the application process, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to us.
  • I am a part of the Navy family and would like to use the Navy emblem on a noncommercial personal use item, am I allowed to do this?
    • We routinely grant one-time, non-commercial use approvals. Please our office so we can assist you.
  • Where can I obtain a trademark license application?
  • How do I know if a product is properly licensed?
    • The U.S. Navy has partnered with JPatton to provide all labeling requirements, artwork approvals, and graphics. JPatton is the Navy's contracted vendor for holographic trademark products. All licensees are required to display these labels on their products via a hangtag or a sticker.
  • Can political candidates use Navy trademarks on their campaign materials?
    • Political candidates may refer to the fact that they served and are a Navy veteran, but cannot use the Navy name or its trademarks in a way that would give the impression that the Navy has endorsed their candidacy.
  • Can colleges, universities and other learning institutions use Navy trademarks in order to promote and advertise their military programs?
    • No. Such uses of Navy trademarks would inevitably imply endorsement and thus are prohibited.
  • Our company has a contract with the United States Navy. Can we use Navy trademarks or images in our marketing material?
    • No. Even though the company has a contract with the Navy, the company may not use Navy trademarks in its business or marketing materials. This would create the impression that the company or its products are endorsed by the Navy. The company may refer to the fact that it does business with the Navy, provided it does so in a manner that is accurate and does not imply that it has been endorsed by the Navy.
  • Where can I find the contact info for the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard Trademark Licensing Offices?
  • Does my license ever expire?
    • Licenses typically are for a limited duration (2 or 3 years on average) any may be renewed upon the licensee’s request and at the sole discretion of the Navy. The Navy reserves the right to terminate a license prior to its expiration date if the licensee fails to comply with the terms of the license agreement. You can
  • How are the royalty funds used?
    • The U.S. Department of the Navy Trademark Licensing Program was established to enhance the image and reputation of the Navy, strengthen the Navy’s trademark rights, extend and protect the Navy brand while stimulating and retention, and, after covering its operational expenses, to support Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) activities from royalties received from the sale of licensed products under 10 U.S.C. § 2260.

      MWR is a quality-of-life program that directly supports readiness by providing a variety of community and family support programs, activities and services, such as social, fitness, recreational, educational, and other programs and activities that enhance community life, foster unit readiness, promote mental and physical fitness, and generally provide a working and living environment that attracts and retains active duty members, their family members, retirees and its civilian workforce.