The use of The University of Iowa’s word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols provides an instant identification with the University and needs to be protected. The University has a Trademark Licensing Program that protects and maintains consistent branding. It is important to the University that their employees and students recognize the importance of monitoring and protecting the word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols that associate with The University of Iowa. The University allows usage only by internal departments/colleges and student organizations officially recognized by the University, and only after an application and artwork has been submitted and approved by the University’s Trademark Licensing Office.
Each program within The University of Iowa has a select person or persons who are authorized to represent the program. The site, http://uiowa.orgsync.com/, has a list of the approved officers for direction with University departments. If your program does not have an advisor, the officer listed on the OrgSync site must preapprove the chosen product and design before submitting the license application and artwork to the Trademark Licensing Program. However, if your program does have an advisor, the advisor must complete the preapproval process. The “Application and Agreement” document also includes directions on how to identify who has approved the application. The approval may also be required by the department head. To reiterate, the Trademark Licensing Office gives final approval of all products and artwork that contain word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa.
Trademark Licensing Program
Any word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa are the intellectual properties of the University and are registered at both the state and federal levels. To protect these properties and traditions, the University’s Trademark Licensing Office reviews all applications and approvals requiring that all artwork bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols connected to The University of Iowa be manufactured by a licensed vendor of The University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Program.
Requirements and Restrictions
The requestor of University department/college or student organization must be a registered student or employee at The University of Iowa. Requestors should allow two weeks for processing with each request. To note, the beginning of each academic semester is a peak application submission period, and additional processing time may be required in those periods.
It is imperative that a licensed vendor is used for creation and manufacture of any product that recognizes the word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols of the University. Licensed vendors are required by the Trademark Licensing Program to be members of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which allows the Licensing Program to ensure that its products are made by the most trusted manufacturers. Also, unlicensed manufacturers and producers who make products bearing the University’s marks may be liable to significant legal penalties under the Lanham Act of Federal Trademark Law.
In all cases, when a recognized University department or student organization would like to use word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa, the proposed artwork must be neutral colored, use institutional word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols of the University, include a sponsor statement, and must carry the official name of the organization.
Please note, the Tigerhawk logo is the primary brand of The University of Iowa Athletics Program and is reserved explicitly for those organizations affiliated with the University’s athletics programs. Because of this, the Tigerhawk may not be used in the creation of derivative logos for departments or student organizations. This kind of use dilutes and misrepresents the brand associated with the Tigerhawk. Herky is the preferred identifying mark of departments, colleges, and student organizations at The University of Iowa.
To promote the University’s brand consistently, word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa may vary in size, but may not be altered in any way. Please reference the Brand Standards for the criteria that must be followed.
Recognized University departments and student organizations have access to the “Old School Collection” and the “Vintage Vault Collection” via standard approval process.
Prohibited Products and Artwork
The University of Iowa explicitly prohibits products from making reference to drugs or paraphernalia; alcohol, consumption, or abuse; tobacco products and usage; sexual conduct, imagery or inferences; profanity or inappropriate insensitive language; gambling; firearms and weapons; political and religious endorsements; and any other subject found to be inappropriate, unacceptable or inconsistent with the standard licensing practices of The University of Iowa.
Use of a current student-athlete’s name or likeness on products is a violation of NCAA rules and can result in the student-athlete being declared ineligible. Any use of a student-athlete’s name, nickname, or likeness must be approved by both The University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Office and The University of Iowa Athletics Department Compliance Office.
Co-Branding and Trade Dress
Amalgamations of University marks with other intellectual properties and/or trade dress not associated with The University of Iowa are prohibited. This means that using any colors, fonts, images, or other partial indicia which call to mind the brand of another organization or company may not be used in conjunction with the University’s marks. Doing so violates federal and state trademark law, and such submissions will not be approved absent evidence of third party approval.
Example 1: The Iowa Soccer Club student organization using the MLS crest, but changing the letters to read “ISC” and placing a Tigerhawk on the ball. This would be use of the MLS’s trade dress and would be an infringing use.
Example 2: The History Department uses The History Channel’s logo, but changes the letters to read “UI History Department”, and changes the colors of the logo to black and Hawkeye gold. This would be use of the History Channel’s logo is trade dress and an infringing use.
Use of intellectual property owned by a third party must be approved by that entity in writing and submitted to the Trademark Licensing Office when the application and artwork are submitted. This includes references to other schools. Please reference the Brand Standards for more information.
Depending on who the requestor works under, they must submit a completed Departmental Use Application & Agreement or Student Organization Application & Agreement to the Trademark Licensing Office for pre-production approval. Final approval cannot be completed until the Trademark Licensing Office has received and approved the artwork and application. They must be submitted at the same time.
Not all requests are approved. This application only becomes an agreement when signed and approved by the Trademark Licensing office.
Royalties are charges assessed by the Licensing Program to the licensees for the approved use of the University’s marks. Royalties are paid by the approved licensed vendor. The standard charge is 12% of sales, and the promotional use charge is 15%. Approved products for internal departmental, organizational, or philanthropic use are royalty-exempt.
Approved products for fundraising/resale or promotion, regardless of purpose, will be subject to applicable royalties.
Products for recognized University departments and student organizations will only be approved for fundraising/resale or promotion if the products do not replicate existing items in the marketplace, the official name of the recognized University department or student organization is carried on the product, and the product and artwork is consistent with the Brand Standards and the Trademark Licensing Office’s policies.
Please reference the definitions below for more information on determining your type of use.
Types of Use
Internal Use: The University department or student organization creates products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa for student and staff members. Payment for internal use products solely covers the cost production. Internal Use products are royalty-exempt.
Examples: Membership t-shirts, officer/executive board apparel, gifts, etc.
Philanthropy: All profits from products sold bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa go to a charity, non-profit organization, or philanthropic cause. The University department or student organization does not receive any monetary profit from the sale of these products and/or use any of the money for internal use. Philanthropic products are royalty-exempt.
Examples: Donation of all proceeds from the sale of a product to hospitals, animal shelters, etc.
Fundraising/Resale: Profits from the sale of products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa funds the department’s and student organization’s activities. Please note that while a University department or student organization may be doing activities that are volunteerism in nature (alternative spring breaks, mission trips, etc.), they are not categorized as a philanthropic royalty exemption. Fundraising/resale products are subject to applicable royalties.
Examples: Departmental/Organizational trips, hosting professional speakers, funding scholarships, social activities, etc.
Promotional: University departments and student organizations purchase products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa with organizational funds to be used as giveaway items. Promotional products are subject to applicable royalties.
Examples: Give away of promotional items by department or student organization at Activities Fair
It is important to follow the appropriate process when developing products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa. This will ensure clear communication and that your request is processed in a timely manner. It is also important to note that our approval procedures and artwork policies have recently changed, and thus previously approved artwork will not automatically be approved upon resubmission. Please review the Brand Standards for complete explanations.
Step 1 – Select a Licensed Vendor
Locate a licensed vendor who meets your product needs.
The University of Iowa has over 500 licensed vendors throughout the state and country. Click here for a list of The University of Iowa’s licensees, and for a searchable database organized by product category.
If you are unable to find product offerings from our licensees that fulfill your needs, contact the Trademark Licensing Office.
Step 2 – Artwork Development
Work with a licensed vendor to develop an artwork design.
Review and reference the Brand Standards while developing artwork bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa. University departments and student organizations are subject to all Brand Standards requirements as well as those listed in this policy.
Step 3 – Application and Artwork Submission
Complete the Departmental Use Application & Agreement or Student Organization Application & Agreement and submit to email@example.com.
Include information on the application consistent with Trademark Licensing Office policy on appropriate products. See above, “Requirements and Restrictions” (LINK), for further detail on appropriate products and other restrictions or requirements.
Indicate the intended use of the product bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa on the application. This will be used to determine the royalty status of your products.
Note: Your authorized organization representative (as detailed above in “Policy Overview”) needs to pre-approve the desired product and artwork concept prior to submission of the artwork and application to the Trademark Licensing Office. Your application is considered incomplete if it does not have the representative’s signature.
Once you have completed the Departmental Use Application & Agreement or the Student Organization Application & Agreement in its entirety, submit it to the Trademark Licensing Office for review. Note: This application is not a binding agreement until it is executed by the Trademark Licensing Office.
If your application and/or artwork does/do not meet The University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Program’s standards, you will be notified.
Step 4 – Application and Artwork Approval
If your application and artwork has been approved, the Trademark Licensing Office will send you your executed agreement.
The Trademark Licensing Office will also notify the licensed vendor that the artwork has been approved and the vendor can begin production.
If you have any questions on or throughout the application process, please contact us by phone at 319-384-2000, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.