Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
A Service Sorority | Grand Chapter
Warning Against Illegally Using Delta's Intellectual Property
As the public and members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated ("Delta") know, Delta works diligently to protect its intellectual property – trademarks, service marks, and copyright, which includes all iterations of its name, the Greek letters for its name, and its logos and symbols (collectively "Marks"). Delta's right to the exclusive use of its Marks is protected by federal and state law.
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 sued infringers in federal courts in New York; Georgia; Michigan; the District of Columbia; and Florida, and 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 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 is now employing a private investigator to assist it in protecting it 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 Intellectual Property Specialists, Nicole Lenon Johnson. A list of licensed vendors may be found on Delta's website. Review the Approved Vendor List (Updated 4-15-2018).
Process for Obtaining More Information
and Seeking a License
To learn more about Delta's licensing process, please refer to the Vendor Certification section. For information, interested persons or entities may contact Delta's intellectual property specialist, Nicole Lenon, at:
Dear Prospective Certified Vendor:
Anyone wishing to design, manufacture, advertise, market/distribute, or sell (collectively “market”) merchandise imprinted with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated's (“Delta”) trademarks and service marks (collectively “Marks”) must receive authorization to do so through Delta's Vendor Certification Program. Only products that sustain and enhance the positive image of the Sorority will be approved.
Delta diligently protects its Marks and vigorously pursues persons or entities that violate its Marks and intellectual property rights; and, vigorously pursues persons and entities that market products bearing Delta's Marks without having obtained authorization. Delta issues license for two (2) year period only. To become certified you must pay a license fee of $2,000 for the two (2) year license; you must become familiar with and agree to abide by Delta's Operating Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Vendors; you must complete an Application for Vendor's License; and you must execute a License Agreement.
Delta has registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) and U.S. Customs Office numerous trademarks and service marks, including those listed in the Schedule A. Delta has several other applications for registration currently pending before the PTO. In addition, Delta has numerous other Marks protected by federal and state common law, as listed in Schedule B.
Delta's policy, practices, and procedures for operating its Program, the steps a person or entity must follow to obtain certification, and the standards for operating as a vendor are set out in the following documents: Vendor Operating Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Vendors, Vendor Application, and License Agreement, all of which are attached. Please review the attached documents carefully if you wish to become a certified vendor.
Please note the following:
- Persons who wish to use any Delta Mark(s) in connection with any promotion or one-time event are considered vendors and must apply to use Delta's Marks through its Vendor Certification Program. No individual member may authorize use of Delta's Marks.
- A vendor who markets merchandise not manufactured by it must purchase merchandise only from a licensed vendor/manufacturer.
- A vendor who supplies any Marks to a manufacturer must require the manufacturer to sign a written agreement that it will use the Marks consistently with Delta's standards and will not use Delta's Marks to manufacture merchandise for any vendor whose name is not listed on Delta's Certified Vendors list posted on Delta's website, or whose status as a vendor has not been confirmed in writing by Delta's Intellectual Property office, or by the vendor's production of its license.
- All merchandise designs must be approved with the initial application.
- Merchandise designs may only be added at the time of renewal of the application.
You may apply for certification by following the steps below:
- Complete and sign the License Agreement
- Complete and sign the Application for Vendor's License
- Attach a sample or clear photograph(s) of product/merchandise
- Enclose a nonrefundable application fee of $250.00 in the payment form specified
- Submit the license fee of $1,750.00 which is the balance due upon approval.
The application process will generally take a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 60 days. Submission of an application and a signed License Agreement does not guarantee the granting of a license. Delta retains sole discretion to determine who shall be issued a license. Delta requires the submission of a signed License Agreement at the time of the application to ensure that all applicants are thoroughly familiar with the details and requirements of the Certified Vendor Program.
Licenses will be issued for the marketing of products that sustain and enhance the image of the Sorority. The Sorority reserves the right to cancel any license, should any item marketed promote a negative image of and/or be contrary to the mission and standards of this organization.
- New Applicants & Renewals with Samples
If you are a new applicant applying for the vendor program or are submitting a renewal request with samples, please forward the completed documents along with the sample and a cashier's check, money order or credit card form (no personal checks) to:
- DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
- 1707 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
- Washington, D.C. 20009
- Renewals (Without New Products/Samples)
If you are only submitting a renewal request, do not have any new products/samples and payment form. Please forward the completed documents and payment via cashier’s check, money order or credit card form (no personal checks) to:
- DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
- P.O. Box 418194
- Boston, MA 02241-8194
A Credit Card Payment Form is enclosed for your convenience.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Nicole Lenon Johnson, Intellectual Property Specialist, via email (for a quicker response), IP@deltasigmatheta.org or via phone, 202 238-7545.
Beverly E. Smith
Beverly E. Smith
National President and CEO
Delta members have always supported the Sorority's request that they refrain from patronizing and report unlicensed vendors. Delta encourages members to continue their vigilance. Reports should be made to Nicole Lenon Johnson or the Intellectual Property Department email (IP@deltasigmatheta.org) and should include the name of the business; contact person and title, if available; address; telephone number; location of sale or display of merchandise; and list of items being sold.