Our mission is to serve as a primary resource and partner to Delta in all aspects of business growth and development. Legal Affairs’ practice spans several areas that include corporate governance and compliance, contract management, public policy development, labor and employment matters, and intellectual property and data privacy management.

Legal Affairs also works closely with our Headquarters departments, regional committees, and national chapters to conduct programming that includes conventions, conferences, and public service initiatives under our Five-Point Programmatic Thrust for the enjoyment of members and local communities alike. To protect Delta’s reputation and goodwill, Legal Affairs is responsible for managing Delta’s intellectual property portfolio, supporting our Certified Vendor Program, and procuring licensed affiliations with colleges & universities, companies, as well as  non-profit organizations.

For more about Legal Affairs’ practice, we invite you to review the remaining tabs in our section. Should you have any further questions not addressed here, please email Legal Affairs at legal@deltasigmatheta.org.

Among its several practice areas,  Legal Affairs at Delta is responsible for overseeing registration and uses of Delta’s IP portfolio worldwide. That may include Sorority recruitment and membership events at colleges and universities; public displays at political and cultural functions; and news and editorial coverage in print and online publications.

Legal Affairs also supports the Events Committee who administers the Sorority’s commercial licensing program, otherwise known as the Certified Vendor Program (“Program”)  The Program provides vendors and manufacturers the opportunity to affix Delta trademarks on approved merchandise for a non-exclusive, two (2) year license term.

Delta works diligently to protect its intellectual property –  trademarks, service marks, domain names, and copyrights, which includes Delta’s name, Delta  Greek letters, and any other indicia (collectively “Marks”).  While Delta always attempts to resolve matters of infringement without resort to litigation, we have initiated lawsuits against several individuals and corporate infringers who refused to comply with Delta’s demands to cease using Delta’s Marks illegally.  Delta has sued infringers in federal courts and has consistently obtained injunctive relief and negotiated settlements to resolve these matters.

Delta  recognizes the invaluable service of its Soror members who report and refuse to patronize unlicensed or otherwise unauthorized entities that include vendors and manufacturers. Members are encouraged to continue to support licensed entities and report any unlicensed or otherwise unlawful activity to Legal Affairs.

Please take the time to carefully review this page in its entirety. Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Legal Affairs.

Intellectual Property (“IP”)

Intellectual Property (“IP”) refers to the protection of intangible ideas of the creative mind. It is comprised of trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets.   As such, intellectual property may take many forms, including logos, slogans, symbols, sounds, artistic works, technological inventions among others.

Delta has an abundance of work that fits into the realm of intellectual property.  Delta owns several federal registered and common law trademarks as well as copyrightable works.

Delta’s intellectual property must not be used in any fashion or manner that could impair, or otherwise damage, Delta’s name, reputation, or public goodwill.  Delta asserts its ownership rights against any uses prohibited on this page, this website, licensing agreement, and/or written authorization.

Trademarks AND Copyrights

A trademark is a form of intellectual property protection over any mark, logo, symbol, nickname, letter(s), word(s) or any combination thereof, that points to and/or can be associated with a given entity, such as Delta Sigma Theta. Trademarks  are used to distinguish one entity from other brands and/or organizations.

 

A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection over original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.  Copyrights also include how facts, ideas, systems, or methods are expressed, not the facts, ideas, systems, or methods themselves.

 

Delta has the pleasure of owning several registered and common law trademarks and continues to expand Delta’s  portfolio overall. . Some of Delta’s Marks include the Sorority’s name, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. among its other iterations; Sorority’s Greek Letters, ∆ΣΘ, and Sorority’s chant, “OO-OOP” and “OO-OP”. Delta’s copyrighted material includes Delta Rituals, Songs, Design Graphics, Founders’s Group and Individual Portraits, among other literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works endorsed and/or sponsored by Delta. Any third party publication of these or any other copyrighted materials, both online and in-print, violates Delta’s copyright protections.

 

For a list of licensable Delta Trademarks, please review Schedule A – U.S. Federal Registered Trademarks and Service Marks and Schedule B – Common Law Trademarks and Service Marks

Permitted Use

Only Delta members, licensees, and others, with written permission from Delta Sigma Theta, are legally authorized to use Delta’s Marks.   Those with exclusive permission from Delta may use Delta’s Marks with their goods and/or services. Delta must approve of all goods and/or services before Delta’s Marks can be affixed to them. Entities must deliver all merchandise and tangible displays of services that bear Delta’s mark within fourteen (14) days of purchase and/or creation.

The following, non-exhaustive list of third party uses, is not permissible and thus subject to Delta enforcement measures:

  • Delta’s IP shall not be used in connection with any goods and/or services that are unlawful, obscene, pornographic, excessively violent, hazardous, or otherwise in poor taste.
  • Delta’s IP shall not be used as part of a company, business or trade name, or as a domain name or a URL.
  • The image(s), name(s), and/or likeness(es) of Delta Founders shall not be used on any third party goods and/or services unless expressly authorized by Delta.
  • Delta’s IP shall not be used in a manner that creates a perception of Delta’s endorsement of any unlicensed third-party entity and/or its goods and services.

Please visit the Licenses and Certified Vendor Program Sections for further details

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is committed to the protection of its sacred trademarks and is dedicated to forming fruitful relationships with those parties interested in using Delta’s federally registered and common law trademarks. If you, your company, or the organization you work for are interested in using Delta’s Marks, please continue reading below to learn about licensing opportunities with Delta.

 

Among Delta’s licenses to use trademarks, Legal Affairs supports the Events Department which administers the Sorority’s commercial licensing program, otherwise known as the Certified Vendor Program (“Program”). If you or your company are interested in becoming a Certified Delta Vendor, please refer to Program section. Details on all other licenses to use Delta Marks are also found below. Please note, that all licensing request forms are subject terms and conditions of licensed use with a two (2) week processing period. Should interested parties have any additional questions unanswered in the descriptions below, please contact Legal Affairs at legal@deltasigmatheta.org.

 

If granted, this Licensing Agreement will allow Applicant to use the indicated Delta trademark(s) for the limited purpose of showing and/or marketing in  print publications, or online accounts. Please note, Applicant’s use is limited to the terms of the Licensing Agreement and may not be assigned to any additional interested parties

To obtain a license to use Delta’s federal or common law trademarks:

  1. Media Requests and Releases
    Delta has granted a License Agreement to hit shows, for example “This is Us”, to display Delta’s Marks on certain episodes. If you are seeking to display Delta’s Marks in print, publication, television, radio, or online platforms, Delta asks that all interested parties fill out the request form.
  2. Public Displays
    Public displays include, but are not limited to, political, cultural and/or artistic works shown or performed at charitable events, , museum exhibitions, and other public sites. . While Delta encourages this type of political, cultural and artistic expression, Applicants are asked to first fill out the request form.
  3. Colleges & Universities
    Delta has granted licenses to numerous universities to use Delta’s Marks. A few prominent examples include mounting of plaques displaying Delta’s National Crest/Shield and Greek Letters for Texas Tech’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Pillars Display and Georgia State’s Historical Preservation Plaza at Georgia College as well as a display of Orientation Week campus banners with the Sorority’s Formal Name and Traditional Colors at North Carolina Upstate University.
  4. Requests of this nature generally involve, but are not limited to, requests for the creation of plots, pillars, murals, plaques, print media, or displays in public spaces. Generally, Licensing agreements are only granted to Colleges and Universities where Delta has an active Applicants  interested in this type of license must complete and submit the request form.

Quick Brand Guide

COMING SOON!

Enforcement

Delta works diligently to protect its intellectual property assets, that include  trademarks, service marks, and copyrighted works, namely Delta’s names, Delta National Crest, Delta  Greek letters, along with its artistic works and reproductions , (collectively “Marks”).

 

While Delta always attempts to resolve matters of infringement without resort to litigation, it has had to initiate lawsuits against many individual and corporate infringers who refused to comply with Delta’s demands that they stop using Delta’s Marks illegally. Delta has consistently obtained injunctive relief and negotiated settlements to resolve these matters. Delta also has settled numerous matters informally with vendors who have complied with Delta’s cease and desist requirements.

 

Delta’s right to the exclusive use of its Marks is protected by federal and state law. As such, Delta will continue to police its Marks vigorously. While it remains open to informal resolution in appropriate cases, it will not hesitate to sue violators and will seek enhanced damages, including treble damages, where appropriate.

 

While Delta’s Legal Affairs works persistently to protect its property, Delta recognizes the invaluable service of members who refuse to patronize – and who report – unlicensed vendors. Members are encouraged to continue to patronize only licensed vendors and to report unlicensed vendors to Delta’s Legal Affairs Department at the link below. To learn more about our licensed vendors, we ask that you review our Approved Vendor List (Updated 7-15-2021).

 

If you are aware of an individual or corporation illegally using Delta’s marks, please report to these uses to Legal Affairs.   If you are unsure whether someone is operating as a licensed vendor, please refer to the Certified Vendors tab. Delta makes available updated Certified Vendor lists on a monthly basis on the National Site. Should you have any questions about this list, please contact the Events Department at events@deltasigmatheta.org and ip@deltasigmatheta.org.

In order to legally use Delta’s Marks on goods and/or services, you must obtain permission through a licensing agreement. A licensing agreement is made between Delta and a third party. The license will grant a third party the limited right to use Delta marks for a specified period of time. Delta refers to third parties as Vendors.  Delta has granted numerous vendors a license and continues to review requests daily. No individual member of Delta may authorize use of Delta’s marks.

To learn more about our licensed vendors, we ask that you review our Approved Vendor List (Updated 7-15-2021).

To become a Certified Vendor:

To renew a Certified Vendor License:

 

Once the application is submitted, you must become familiar with and agree to abide by Delta’s Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Vendors (collectively “Code”). This Code will provide detailed information on how Delta’s Marks should be displayed and used.  Please check back for our Quick Brand Guide tab for additional use information.  To complete the application process, there is a license fee of $2,000.00 of which $250.00 is non-refundable in the event that the application is denied or cancelled prior to approval. There is NO refund issued after approval.

 

If granted a license by Delta, it will be binding for a period of two (2) years.   Once the two year period has ended, you will have to complete the Certified Vendor’s License Renewal and submit the license fee.   Delta reserves the right to cancel any license, should any item marketed promote a negative image and/or be contrary to the mission and standards of this organization.

 

A Licensed Vendor may not grant and/or assign his rights under the license agreement to any other vendor without the exclusive authorization of Delta.

 

For additional information about the Program, please refer to our Certified Vendor Program Guide. You may contact the Events Committee should the information defined here and the link above not address your questions.

 

QUESTIONS

If you would like to learn more about the Certified Vendor Program, please contact the Events Committee at Events@deltasigmatheta.org and IP@deltasigmatheta.org.