Licensing and Trademark Policy
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- Office of Sponsorships, Licensing, and Trademarks Under the Associate Vice President for Procurement Services
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- Policy Contact:
Director of Sponsorships,
Licensing and Trademarks
- Policy Feedback:
- If you have comments or questions about this policy, let us know with the policy feedback form.
- Print or view a PDF of this policy
- Many policies are quite lengthy. Please check the page count before deciding whether to print.
Indiana University (IU) owns and controls its names, marks, logos, colors, insignias, seal, designs, depictions of campus buildings and landmarks, and symbols that have become commonly associated with the University or any of its campuses. These include, but are not limited to: “IU”, the interlocking block IU, athletic teams’ names, “Hoosiers” the University seal, the University coat of arms, the slogan “Go Big Red”, the candy-striped design, the IU Plaid design, the name, “Indiana University” and the abbreviated “Indiana”.
The Indiana University Office of Sponsorships, Licensing and Trademarks exists to promote and protect the University’s name, marks and identifying properties. The Office of Licensing and Trademarks serves Indiana University by: (1) educating University constituencies to provide consistent representation of University marks; (2) stimulating public awareness and support; (3) ensuring that each licensed use is of good quality and upholds the integrity of the University; and (4) augmenting financial contributions to the University’s academic and athletic programs.
B. Guidelines for Use of Trademarks
Indiana University trademarks may not be modified in anyway or incorporated into the name or mark of another.
Indiana University trademarks may not be used in conjunction with the name or trademark of any other entity without the prior written permission of that entity. If permission is granted by the Office of Sponsorships, Licensing and Trademarks and/or contractually by the Purchasing Department to use both the Indiana University trademark and another party’s trademark in a design, the trademarks must be separate and distinct from each other and Indiana University’s trademark must not be overshadowed or diminished in any way in comparison to the other entity’s trademark. Approval of any such dual use of Indiana University’s trademarks will be limited to instances where there is a compelling institutional priority in allowing such usage.
Indiana University trademarks may not be used in any manner that suggests or implies Indiana University’s endorsement of another organization, company, product, service, political party or view, or religious belief or view.
Indiana University’s trademarks may not be used in any way that discriminates or implies discrimination against any person or group based on age, ancestry, belief, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or in any other way that would be in violation of Indiana University’s anti-discrimination policies or practices.
No one other than Indiana University may claim copyright or trademark rights to University trademarks or seek to register any design that incorporates University trademarks.
All uses of Indiana University’s trademarks on commercial products shall incorporate the appropriate trademark designation symbols, i.e., all designs using Indiana University trademarks shall include ® or ™dependent upon the international class the logo or word mark is registered in.
Indiana University will not approve the use of its trademarks marks in conjunction with certain types of products. These include, but are not limited to:
- Tobacco and nicotine related products
- Controlled substances and illegal drugs
- Sexually suggestive products
- Products that are or depict hateful, demeaning or degrading language or statements
- Products that use profanity
- Gambling-related products
- Products that contain statements impugning other universities
- Products that present an unacceptable risk of liability
- Products that are harmful to the mission or integrity of the institution
- Products that contain another entity’s registered trademark, unless explicit written permission has been granted from that entity
Commercial Solicitations that relate to the promotion or consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or products or services that are contrary to the policies or mission of the University, are prohibited.
Any and all uses of the names, numbers, and/or images of Indiana University student-athletes must comply with Indiana University policies and applicable NCAA or NAIA regulations.
University trademarks cannot be used by private and/or corporate businesses in the sale of commercial products or advertising. University trademarks cannot be incorporated into off-campus business telephone numbers, internet addresses or internet domain names.
In instances where there is uncertainty regarding the appropriate use of any Indiana University trademarks, the Director of Sponsorships, Licensing, and Trademarks, along with the Associate Vice President of Procurement Services and Vice President of General Counsel, will determine the best course of action.
C. Licensing Requirements
A license is required for any individual, organization, or company wishing to use Indiana University’s name, trademarks, or depictions of campus buildings or landmarks on goods or services that are: sold commercially;
- sold commercially;
- given away as a premium or promotional items;
- or displayed on uniforms or athletic team gear.
A license is required for entities who wish to film a commercial television show, movie, or video on an Indiana University campus that will feature Indiana University trademarks. Each use shall be reviewed by the Indiana University Office of Sponsorships, Licensing, and Trademarks, the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Marketing and Communications, and the Office of Insurance, Loss Control & Claims; and if authorized, a Production Agreement containing a limited license shall be issued.
A license is not required for retailers who wish to advertise the sale of licensed products. Such advertisements, however, shall not imply any relationship with the University other than that of licensor/licensee/retailer and should include the Collegiate Licensed Product label which identifies officially licensed goods.
All licensed goods must be purchased from a licensed vendor of Indiana University.
All licensees must adhere to the Office of Sponsorships, Licensing and Trademarks Code of Conduct.
Permission is required for any individual, organization or company wishing to use Indiana University’s name, trademarks, and/or depictions of campus buildings or landmarks in a non-commercial manner.
D. Media Use and Advertising in Publications
News media are not required to obtain a license when using current University trademarks to convey informational messages.
Retailers and licensed manufacturers may use pictures of licensed products in advertisements with the authorization of the Office of Sponsorships, Licensing and Trademarks, if such use does not violate NCAA regulations.
E. Student Organizations
Student organizations are defined by Indiana University’s Student Organizations policy (STU-01). Under the policy, University Student Organizations (USOs), are treated as operating units of Indiana University, and as such must comply with all University policies and procedures, including this policy.
Self-Governed Student Organizations (SGSOs), are governed by both the Student Organizations policy and terms and conditions of the agreement between the SGSO and the University. The SGSO is not permitted to use Indiana University’s trademarks, symbols, logos, mottoes, or depictions of campus buildings and landmarks, but may use approved IU student organization branding elements. All goods and services, including those used as a fundraiser, or promotional products bearing University trademarks, including the IU-approved student organization branding elements, must be produced by a University licensee and submitted to the Office of Licensing and Trademarks for review and approval.
SGSOs may only indicate an association with IU or with any specific IU unit in a locational sense (i.e. “Club at Indiana University”). "The Indiana University Club" or any similar use of other University marks (e.g., “IU Club” or Indiana Club”) is not acceptable and can never be used in any form including as part of a top-level domain name or email address.
Endorsements can be mutually beneficial in business relationships, but they can also send a conflicting message to the market place regarding Indiana University’s name and reputation. To avoid misinterpretation, endorsements are discouraged. Use the following guidelines to determine how Indiana University’s name, trademarks, and identifiable properties can be used:
- “Indiana University” does not endorse products or services.
- The University Seal cannot be used in connection with promotional materials.
- Promotional announcements that identify a unit at Indiana University as a customer, must be specific and accurate (ex. it is not “Indiana University” that is purchasing software, but the “Indiana University Accounts Payable Department.”)
- Accurate statements which describe a fact but do not express an endorsement may be allowable with advance permission of the University official responsible for dealing with the vendor (e.g. “the Indiana University Office of University Telecommunications is a client of X Technology Group”).
- Photographs of identifiable Indiana University landmarks, buildings, statues, etc. which imply an endorsement of a product or service are not permissible (for example, an advertisement for a new car parked in front of Sample Gates).
G. Trademark Enforcement
The Office of Sponsorships, Licensing and Trademarks works diligently to protect Indiana University’s trademarks both domestically and internationally. Federal trademark law requires that trademark owners actively protect their marks to maintain the full benefit of registration. Indiana University will prosecute misuse of University trademarks to the fullest extent of the law.
H. Royalties and Fees
The University will assess a royalty on the net selling price of all products sold or otherwise disposed of that displaying University marks. Other fees include an advanced royalty fee, administrative application processing fee, and reinstatement fees.
I. Royalty Exemptions
Royalty exemptions will be granted for:
- Licensed goods purchased by the University for Internal Consumption (use by University faculty, staff, and students) will be exempted from royalties. Examples include, but are not limited to: team athletic apparel, staff uniforms, office supplies, recognition pins and plaques, calendars and schedules of events, photographs, and works of art.
- Licensed goods or services manufactured or purchased by the University to promote the University and its programs. Examples include student recruitment materials, advertisement of University programs, and notices of special events.
Royalty exemptions will not be granted for:
- Licensed goods purchased by the University, University affiliates, University bookstores or gift/concession centers for resale;
- Student groups selling licensed goods, or students engaged in business for personal profit while making a nominal contribution to a student organization for the purpose of gaining either the exempt status or the privilege of selling on campus;
- Licensed goods purchased by the University for external-use when the cost of the product is passed to the consumer through fees or contributions.
Royalties generated by the Office of Licensing and Trademarks less expenses and operating costs will be transferred to the University scholarships program for distribution to all Indiana University campuses and to the University’s athletic program.
Reason for Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide standards, information, and guidance on the permissible use of Indiana University’s names and trademarks and to stipulate its licensing requirements.
Trademark: A name or symbol or combination of both which identifies the source of a product or service. In the case of licensed goods, a trademark indicated affiliation or sponsor rather than producer. In practice, a trademark also enhances the desirability of a product and, when properly controlled, can increase the value of the product as well as the goodwill inherent in the mark. For the purposes of this document, “trademark” is used to indicate any or all of the following: trademark, trade name, service mark, logo, insignia, indicia, emblem, symbol, identifying mark, mark, and name.
Registered Trademark: A trademark that has been registered with the federal government at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Federal registration provides additional protection against and remedies for trademark infringement.
Infringement: Unauthorized use of a trademark that belongs to another, or use of a trademark as similar to that of another as to cause the likelihood of confusion in the minds of the public as to the source (affiliation or sponsorship) of the product or service.
Licensor: One who contracts to allow another (Licensee) to use the licensor’s property (trademark) in exchange for payment, usually royalty as a percent of sales.
Standard License: A royalty-bearing contract between licensor (IU) and a manufacturer who is licensed to produce specific products bearing one or more of licensor’s trademarks.
Promotional License: A limited-term contract between licensor and a company, organization, or individual in which permission is granted to use one or more of licensor’s trademarks in the promotion of licensee’s products or services. Contract may include permission to use premiums in the promotional campaign.
Premium: A limited-term contract between licensor and a company, organization, or individual in which permission is granted to use one or more of licensor’s trademarks in the promotion of licensee’s products or services. Contract may include permission to use premiums in the promotional campaign.