Rotary’s Intellectual Property team wins award

RI’s Intellectual Property team with the Trademark Review Industry Award. From left: Melinda Torres; general counsel assistant; Jomarie Fredericks, deputy general counsel; Beth Wollar, IP paralegal; Steven Routburg, general counsel; Angela Baluk, assistant general counsel; and Chris Cardenas, licensing specialist.

By Jomarie Fredericks, deputy general counsel, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Rotary International 

We’re very excited to let you know that RI’s Intellectual Property team won the World Trademark Review Industry Awards for Best Nonprofit Team 2018, beating out the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the American Red Cross, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH and the Scotch Whisky Association. Please share in this recognition with us because the trademark protection effort extends to each and every one of the members!

Did you know that the name “Rotary” and the Rotary Wheel are registered trademarks? That’s right. The “Rotary Marks” are owned by Rotary International and used by the clubs and districts under guidelines set forth by the RI Board. Trademark ownership is a property right – sort of like owning a house or a car! 

RI has a team of people in place that helps to protect these ownership rights in the Marks, so that the membership will always have these identifying tools. We protect the Marks in many ways, like filing for trademark registration protection in countries all around the world. To date, RI owns trademark registrations in over 80 countries.

Another way RI protects the Marks is by licensing the right to reproduce and sell the Marks on goods and club software. So when you wear your Rotary pin or a Rotary T-shirt, it should have been made and sold by a company authorized by RI. Doing business with an RI Licensee ensures quality reproduction and brand integrity. And that company pays a royalty to RI – money that goes toward helping to protect the Marks around the world.

But the IP team doesn’t do it alone. The Club and District Support teams in the international offices play a huge role. RI’s Global Communications and Education teams play a big part. As do you. Following the RI Board’s guidelines for use of the Marks by the membership and buying merchandise from RI Licensees helps support this global effort.

Learn more about the terms for using Rotary International Trademarks and Copyrights. See Rotary’s Voice and Visual Identity Guidelines in the Brand Center

5 thoughts on “Rotary’s Intellectual Property team wins award

  1. Pingback: Rotary’s Intellectual Property team wins award | Rotary Club of Kalibo

  2. The rules are fairly straightforward. However some clubs seem to wilfully disregard them; for example those who use our precious brand to advertise gun raffles.


  3. This whole area is fraught with danger for the average individual Rotarian in an age of social media. The use of Rotary marks is for clubs and districts and other official entities. Yet many Rotarians with individual Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts share Rotary branded material sometimes attached to their own image. Is this not against Rotary policy?

    Many who manage club websites are amateurs and know little about the technicalities of colour, design or resolution issue. Then there are the grey areas. One suggestion would be to have a breakout session on this topic at the next RI convention.


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