Trademarks and Licensing

Our university trademark includes any name, logo, work, letter or symbol that sets us apart from other universities, teams or organizations.

Trademark Licensing

The Licensing and Trademark Office and Strategic Communications and Marketing, with the assistance of the Collegiate Licensing Company, regulate, promote and protect the use of the university’s name and identifying marks, both on and off campus. This includes granting approval for the use of many registered service marks and trademarks, such as logos and identifying names like “Illinois,” “Illini” and “Fighting Illini.”

Prior approval must be granted by the Licensing and Trademark Office at licensing@illinois.edu, or the Collegiate Licensing Company on the university’s behalf, for use of the university’s name or marks for other than official business, including for personal use.

Apparel and Merchandise Vendors

If you are using an external vendor to create a product that is not a print or web advertisement or publication and will use the campus trademarks and logos (e.g., a t-shirt, mug or sweatshirt), you must follow trademark licensing guidance through the Licensing and Trademark Office, which you can request through at licensing@illinois.edu. There are a number of officially licensed vendors that have been prequalified to use the university trademarks. Learn more about how to use the trademarked logo on merchandise from our logo page.

University trademarks include but are not limited to the Block I, athletics shield, football helmet logo, the University Seal, as well as the following phrases: University of Illinois, Fighting Illini, Illinois, U. of I., UI, Illini and Oskee Wow-Wow.

Note: The University Seal of the University of Illinois is to be used only as determined by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All uses of the seal of the University of Illinois must be approved by the secretary of the board of trustees.

Use of tobacco or illegal substance graphics, or descriptions or unauthorized use of the trademarks, is prohibited in conjunction with the university’s name or trademarks.

Licensed Manufacturers

StratCom requires that only licensed manufacturers are used to produce items with the name, mark or symbols of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 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 they are purchasing a licensed product. The hologram also helps the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign monitor the marketplace for infringements.
  • The Collegiate Licensing Company requires licensees to have the proper amount of insurance to protect the licensee, university, retailer and 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 ensure that products representing the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign follow fair labor practices. The university is a member of the Fair Labor Association and requires its companies to comply with FLA’s policies.

License Type

There are two types of licenses offered through the Collegiate Licensing Company for Illinois. There is a retail license that is used for businesses looking to produce items for retail sales. There is also an internal-use license list, that is used for businesses only looking to manufacture items for campus units. This license is more affordable, however, these licensees may not produce items for fundraisers or other uses that might be royalty-bearing.

Using the University’s Trademarks