What is an MOD ‘official licensed product’?

When presenting a gift to either a serving or ex-member of the Armed Forces, you want to be sure that the item ‘passes muster’.

Whether it be a passing out, a dining in presentation, a dining out gift, a regimental dinner gift, or simply a gift to someone who once served their Country, you want it to look good. A poorly printed or engraved military crest is sure to be a disappointment, both to you and the recipient.

Here at Classy Glass & Awards Ltd we are an MOD licensed supplier. In this post we will discuss the benefits of using a reputable supplier of military gifts and what to look out for.

So what is an MOD officially licensed product?

An MOD ‘officially licensed product’ is one that comes from a company or individual who has been carefully vetted and quality checked, before purchasing a license giving them permission to reproduce RAF, Navy and Army crests or badges onto agreed products.

Any official current badge or crest (and many no longer in use) is protected by Crown copyright. This means that badges and logos are protected by trademarking or design patent and only licensee have access to the correct artwork.

Why is it so important to buy an MOD officially licensed product?

On our website you will see an image showing badges from the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Under these images are the words ‘Official Licensed Products’. But what exactly does this mean? It’s certainly not something that you would take notice of normally, but there are some very good reasons why you should, if you want to present a gift with a military crest or badge on it.

Quality engraving or printing of your military crest.
Here at Classy Glass we were required to submit examples of our work for approval of quality and design layout ensuring we meet the standards and ethos of the Armed Forces. We had to complete an in-depth application process to ensure that we were not just selling inferior products with rip-off designs taken from Google images on inappropriate items.
The Armed Forces have professional drawing and design departments who have spent a great deal of time and effort creating a library of quality images on their Brand Portal, to which license holders have access. Apart from anything else, it saves you a lot of time hunting around for a good quality image of the right type to send to us for engraving or printing!

The legal issue.
As mentioned in our introduction, most of the official military crests and badges are protected by Crown copyright and are the intellectual property of the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Defence do not take kindly to unlicensed people using their images and may seek out and prosecute those using them without permission.

Not all military insignia fall under these rules. Many unit badges for instance are not Crown copyright so can be reproduced without a license.

Royalty Payments.
Not only do companies such as Classy Glass & Awards have to pay for the license to sell these products, they are also required to submit a statement of sales each year. A 10% Royalty Fee is then payable to the MOD for any items that have not been requisitioned by the MOD or single Services. Most Royalties paid to the MOD are used to support serving Personnel through the single Service Benevolent funds, which any personnel can apply to for funding.

4 Tips for buying your regimental gift

You can purchase from a licensed seller in the knowledge that the military gift you buy will be a quality product. If tempted to buy that website, eBay or Facebook bargain, ask yourself the following questions:

“Are they legitimate?”

Or are they just trying to make a swift few pounds at the expense of the companies who have paid to use the design? When comparing prices, it is worth remembering that these sellers may not have purchased a license, may not have been vetted and almost certainly won’t be handing over 10% of the sales price on these items to the MOD! Any reputable company would be happy to prove their credentials and should be able to supply you with a license number on request.

“Will I be happy with the quality?”

That depends on where they obtained their images. Just because it looks OK online, doesn’t mean they have used a decent image. ‘Buyer beware’ as they say. If they have, and they haven’t been licensed, then they are using it illegally. And as for the quality of the product itself – many items are coming in from the far east with no quality checks whatsoever!

“Would I want my service to be represented this way?”

Some products on the market are very tacky and definitely not in good taste. It might seem a bit of a laugh, but not at the expense of those who have served and the badge they have served under.

“How do I know if my military gift has come from a licensed seller?”

Look for the hologram. Every licensed product should display a hologram sticker like the image shown on the Classy Glass website, either on the item or the box. No hologram, no license. Remember though that some designs may not need to be produced under license. Many unit badges for instance. These would not necessarily have a sticker.

In conclusion
Please consider supporting those companies:
• Who have paid for a license and are legally entitled to use the image you want.
• Who send in their returns to the MOD each year.
• Who hand over 10% of the proceeds from these sales to help protect the ‘Brand’
• and for the benefit of the Armed Forces Serving Personnel.

Remember those sellers who are “Doing it as a hobby to help the lads out” will be able to beat legitimate sellers every time on price. They haven’t got our overheads. And that bargain on a Facebook post may take your money and send you shoddy goods, or no goods at all in some cases. I have lost count of the number of people phoning us here at Classy Glass chasing items with a military crest on that they bought in good faith from someone else’s dodgy Facebook advert! When the items have failed to arrive, they have tried contacting them by email or phone, only to discover the details are false. They then do a google search for military gifts and, spotting our number, call us. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do in such cases other than suggest they try to claim their money back.

If you are ever in doubt about a supplier contact Dipr-merch@mod.gov.uk who will be able to verify a seller.

Buy genuine personalised military gifts with confidence from Classy Glass & Awards Ltd

Here at Classy Glass we can add your logo or forces crest to most of our products. To help narrow down the choice a bit, we have highlighted some products that are often chosen as military gifts. Take a look at our military gift section here, or feel free to browse our full range at https://www.classyglass.co.uk/

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