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, approved products, 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.
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.
- Class rings
- Decals/transfers (excluding bumper stickers)
- Backpacks (excluding fanny packs)
- Tote bags
Apparel Products (only items worn above the waist)
- Outerwear (tops only)
- Replica team apparel (tops only)
- Infant/Toddler apparel (tops only)
- Youth apparel (tops only)
- Women's apparel (tops only, no lingerie)
- Fleece (tops only)
- Clothing accessories (gloves, mittens, scarves only)
- Have the licensee (manufacturer) submit application form and designs (via fax 244-0035) to the University of Illinois' licensing director in the Trademark and Licensing Office.
- The licensing director will approve or disapprove designs and either require royalties or waive royalties based on end use.
- The licensing director notifies, by fax and/or electronically, the licensee.
The normal approval process requires a lead-time of 15 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 350 approved licensees. In general, all campus groups 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 Marty Kaufmann, campus licensing coordinator (217-333-2474).
Products created solely for internal use at the university (such as banners and signs, complimentary clothing for staff and students, free buttons for school children) may be exempted.
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 hangtag on products, which helps to ensure that the consumer knows he or she is purchasing a licensed product. The hangtag 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, 1 Lincoln Square, 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 Sports, 519 E. Green St., PO Box 2970, Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 328-7722
- Imagery Marketing Inc., 1808 Janke, Suite L, Northbrook IL 60062 (847)- 498-6200
- 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
- Spirit Screen Printing, 30 E. Green St. Ste3, Champaign, IL 61820-7916, (217) 351-2918
- 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
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 and (217) 244-0016, Fax: (217) 244-0035