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April 12, 2013 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Greg Jordan, Wyoming Entrepreneur, Small Business Development Center associate state director
“I see the Steamboat symbol on all sorts of products around the state. Can I put it on my merchandise for sale?” Robert, Rawlins
Steamboat officially is the bucking horse and rider (BH&R) and is indeed on products all across the state and nation.
You can find it on everything from T-shirts to hitch covers. It’s even on the state quarter. What many people do not know is that the BH&R is trademarked by the state of Wyoming and has been since 1936. It was originally worn by World War I soldiers from the Wyoming National Guard in France and Germany.
Just because it is licensed doesn’t mean that you can’t use the BH&R. The University of Wyoming Trademark Licensing office administers the BH&R licensing for the state. The staff can help retailers find suppliers, and even help with merchandising ideas.
For manufacturers, the UW office can help with the licensing process and share information about products to retailers. A charge for using the BH&R is administered, but compared to licensing fees for other logos around the country, it is reasonable. Besides, there is a reason you see the BH&R on everything.
As one retailer was heard to say, “If you put the bucking horse and rider on just about anything, it will sell.”
Many organizations around the state want to show their Wyoming pride on signs, letterhead and business cards. They only need to fill out a business use agreement. If the request is approved, no charge will be assessed.
The people at the UW Trademark Licensing office are a great resource to help get products licensed to sell with the BH&R symbol. For more information, visit the website at www.uwyo.edu/uwlicensing.
Wyoming Entrepreneur advisers also can help get a business ready for growth in sales when officially licensed Wyoming merchandise is being sold.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.