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Olive & Olive has worked with universities and academic institutions for decades—in fact, since the firm’s founding in 1957.

Few intellectual property law firms can boast that level of experience.

We help institutions protect their major brands and maximize their impact. We advise them on patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and Internet domains. We give them how-to counsel and practical, real-world solutions.

See what we can do for you.

Olive & Olive works with some of the finest academic institutions in the country. We offer full-spectrum intellectual property representation, from licensing to litigation. Our services include:

  • Brand management, protection and development
  • Issues involving commercial use of the university’s name and identifying marks
  • Management and protection of still and moving images
  • Trademark registration
  • Internet domain procurement
  • Domain enforcement
  • Issues involving sports team nicknames, logos, mascots, colors and other insignia used on apparel and merchandise sold by licensees
  • Obtaining patents for university inventions
  • Creating and interpreting publishing contracts
  • Defining what software rights belong – and should belong – to the institution, and making sure those rights are acquired and protected
  • Writing – and enforcing – academic patent and copyright policies

One of our strengths is helping clients who find themselves embroiled in a legal dispute. We represent plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits, mediations, arbitrations and other alternatives to litigation.

Our attorneys are admitted to practice before all North Carolina state and federal courts, as well as courts in many other states, the appellate courts of the Fourth Circuit, Federal Circuit, and Armed Forces, and the Supreme Court of the United States. We also admitted to practice before the U.S Patent and Trademark Office.

We not only have the credentials, but we use them to our clients’ advantage.

A word about school mascots.

Mascots cross intellectual property boundaries. They embody creative expression (copyright), and they identify an institution, distinguishing it from others (trademark). Not only that, but mascots take many different forms. Deciding how best to protect mascots—and how to do it in a cost-effective manner that fits within an institutional budget—can be a challenge. 

Our attorneys are experienced at meeting that challenge. We counsel institutions in making key decisions. We guide them in developing long-term and short-term protection goals. We follow through with implementation and enforcement.

We are experts in licensing and transfer issues.

Many universities use IMG College Licensing as their licensing agent for trademarks. We work closely with IMG to our clients’ benefit. If IMG is not an option, we can create and manage internal licensing programs. 

We also work with university tech transfer offices, both from the perspective of the university and outside corporations. We represent publishers (including university publishers) as well as authors. We’re used to negotiating publishing contracts.

Here are some of our other value-added capabilities:

  • We ensure that academic institutions receive appropriate commercial value for the use of their trademarks, patents, copyrights and other intellectual property.
  • We aggressively enforce intellectual property rights against unauthorized use – to protect the value of institutional marks and preserve the goodwill and reputation they convey.
  • We ensure academic institutions receive appropriate commercial value for the use of their trademarks, patents, copyrighted works and other intellectual property.
  • We write cease and desist letters to bring an end to unauthorized use.
  • We bring administrative proceedings, ICANN actions, and lawsuits when necessary.
  • We handle licensing issues for both grantors and grantees.
  • We analyze the rights that prospective licensees need to obtain to accomplish their goals, and we prepare contracts to acquire those rights.
  • We counsel clients on royalties and typical royalty rates.
  • We help clients develop intellectual property priorities and budgets – because time and money are always important factors.

We love working with universities and academic institutions. We are honored that so many of them turn to us to help uphold their traditions and legacy. It is immensely gratifying to ensure that their brands and inventions are protected, and that they yield maximum value. We are delighted to take care of their intellectual property needs, so that they can continue doing their important work.