Trademark and Licensing Information
This page contains general information, trademark definitions, guidelines about using the university's name and the university's marks, and information for club team use, the required approval process, guidelines for using external vendors, licensed manufacturers and local licensees. It also has information about how to contact the Trademark and Licensing Office.
The Trademark and Licensing Office, with the assistance of the Collegiate Licensing Company, regulates, promotes, and protects the use of the university's name and identifying marks, both on and off campus. This includes granting approval for use of the many registered service marks and trademarks of the university, such as logos, the university seal, and even identifying names like "Illinois," "Illini," and "Fighting Illini."
The university has registered its marks since 1978, and continues to pursue registration overseas. This insures protection of the integrity and identity of the university; at the same time, royalties collected through the Licensing Program fund student-athlete scholarships. By ensuring that products bearing the university's marks are of high quality and good taste, the marks further promote the University of Illinois' reputation as one of the nation's finest universities. Proper use of the university's name also stimulates public awareness and support.
Prior written approval is needed for students, campus groups, registered student organizations, or sports clubs from the Trademark and Licensing Office and the Collegiate Licensing Company (the university's licensing agent) for use of the university name or marks for anything other than official university business. This also applies to students, student groups, and organizations that wish to make use of the university name in conjunction with their group or activities, or those groups desiring use of the university's identifying marks.
A trademark is any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or logo adopted and used by a company or organization to designate goods manufactured or sold and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others
The University of Illinois trademark is any mark, word, letter, or symbol associated with the university that can be distinguished from those of other universities, teams, or organizations.
The University of Illinois trademarks may be any artwork or graphic representation relating to the following:
- University of Illinois™
- Fighting Illini®
- U of I™
They may also be any other design, symbol, art, seal, word, or groups of words that have come to be associated with the university.
A student, campus group, registered student organization, or sports club team may make use of the university name in its title, publications, or letterhead, but may not use the name in a manner that in any way would constitute an endorsement, approval or underwriting of any organization, product, activity, service, or contract by the University of Illinois.
Use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substance graphics, or descriptions or unauthorized use of the trademarks, is prohibited in conjunction with the university's name or trademarks.
Keep in mind that any student, student campus group, registered student organization, or sports club is prohibited from using the university seal or campus logos on letterheads, business cards or other identifying materials, with one exception: students may order networking and job search business cards bearing the university’s marks from Printing Services.
A club team may, however, use a university mark as part of its uniform, provided the item is not issued or made available for sale to anyone other than team members. Students, student organizations and campus groups may receive permission to use a university mark for special uses, such as a commemorative item that is for members use only. No royalties are due on these items. Contact the Trademark and Licensing Office for approval of such uses.
Once an item bearing a registered university mark is sold beyond the scope of the membership or team, it becomes a commercial use of the mark and is subject to a license agreement. For example, if the Dance Club at the University of Illinois wishes to use the university logo on its uniform, it is permissible, providing it has received prior written approval of the use from the Licensing Program.
The Trademark and Licensing Office retains the right of approval of all uses of the university's marks. However, if the club decided to sell a T-shirt bearing the university marks as a fund-raiser, the manufacturer of the item must have entered into a royalty-bearing license agreement with The Collegiate Licensing Company and be licensed through the Trademark & Licensing Office. Under terms of a license agreement, the Trademark and Licensing Office must approve all artwork and designs, as well as the quality of the product prior to its distribution.
Campus departments and campus units, as well as Registered Student Organizations, are not allowed to use the Victory Shield logo or the Chief Illiniwek logo.
If a sports club wishes to make use of the word "team" in its title, it can only do so when the words "Sports Club" precede the word "team":
Rugby Sports Club Team at the University of Illinois
University of Illinois Rugby team or "Fighting Illini" Rugby Team
The general rule is that the university name or an abbreviation of its name, such as the U of I, cannot precede the name of the organization. The use of "Illini" in the name is permitted.
There are two options for receiving approval of trademark use
- Have the licensee (manufacturer) submit the design and how the design will be used (shirt for team members, sold to group members, sold as a fundraiser, etc.) to the University of Illinois' licensing director in the Trademark and Licensing Office via email at email@example.com or to the collegiate Licensing Compoany online design approval process, which is available to all licensees. The licensing director notifies approval, denial, or necessary changes to the licensee.
- A representative of a campus unit or student organization or team may submit the design and how the design will be used (shirt for team members, sold to gropu members, sold as a fundraiser, etc.) to the University of Illinois' licensing director in teh Tradmark and Licensing office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The licensing director will approve or disapprove designs and either require royalties or waive royalties based on end use.
The licensing director notifies, approval, denial, or necessary changes, to the requesting party , who will then present the information to the manufacturer. The requesting unit or student group must supply the name of the manufacturer, which should be a current licensee of the university.
The normal approval process requires a lead-time of 7 days. All manufacturing is to be done by licensed manufactures. If a manufacturer is not a licensee, the company may apply to become a licensee. However, the Licensing and Trademark Office makes the final decision on which companies will become licensed. The University of Illinois has more than 400 approved licensees. In general, all campus groups and units should use one of these licensees. The process to become a new licensee, if approved, generally takes four to eight weeks.
If you are using an external vendor to create a product that is not a print or Web advertisement or a print or Web publication that will use the campus logos (e.g., a T-shirt, mug, or sweatshirt), you must follow trademark licensing guidelines available through the campus licensing director at (217)-333-2474 or email@example.com.
The Trademark and Licensing Office requires that only licensed manufacturers are used to produce items with the name, mark, or symbols of the University of Illinois for the following reasons:
- The licensee (manufacturer) is familiar with the policies and procedures required by the university.
- The licensee (manufacturer) will attach a Collegiate Licensing Company hologram on products, which helps to ensure that the consumer knows he or she is purchasing a licensed product. The hologram also helps the University of Illinois monitor the market place for infringements.
- The Collegiate Licensing Company requires licensees to have the proper amount of insurance to protect the licensee, university, retailer, and the registered student organization or sports club.
- There are controls that monitor the quality of materials used in the product.
- Licensees are required to disclose their factory locations, which will help assure that products representing the University of Illinois follow fair labor practices. The university is a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and requires its companies to comply with FLA's policies.
- Awards Limited (non-royalty bearing items only), 1-B Henson Place, Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 352-6378
- Brownfield Sports, 406 N. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, IL 61801-3338, (217) 367-8321
- Campus Sportswear, 710 South 6th St. #B, PO Box 2482, Champaign, IL 61825, (217) 344-0944
- Den Wholesale, 509 N. West Street, Leroy, IL 61752, (309) 962-2000
- Gameday Spirit Fan shops, 519 E. Green St., PO Box 2970, Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 328-7722 and 1422 S. Neil Street, Champaign IL 61820, (217)-355-7499
- Jill's Creative Expressions (non-royalty bearing items only), 101 E. Sangamon, Rantoul, IL 61866, (217) 892-5555.
- Stan's Sportsworld (non-royalty bearing items only), 47 E. Green St., Champaign, IL, 61820-5311, (217) 359-8474
- Te'-Shurt/Campus Book Store, 711 S. Wright, Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 344-1226
- Underground Printing, (non-royalty bearing items only), 502 E. John St., Suite 109, Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 344-9051
- Weiskamp Screen Printing (non-royalty bearing items only), 312 S Neil Street, Champaign IL 61820, 217-398-8428
Apply to become a Licensed Manufacturer
Any company wishing to produce Illinois products need to belicensed through the Collegiate Licensing Company. Download and fill out the application listed on CLC's website. The application provides in-depth information about what is required of licensees. After reviewing the information, contact the campus Trademark & Licensing Office.
If you have questions about proper usage of the university name or registered marks, contact the Trademark & Licensing Office, Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building, 1700 S Fourth Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
Phone: (217) 333-2474 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The current licensing director is Marty Kaufmann.