Use of The University of Iowa’s word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols creates an association with the University that needs to be protected. With that in mind, the University allows usage only by student organizations officially recognized by the University and only after an application and artwork has been submitted and approved by The University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Office. If you have an organization that is not officially recognized by The University of Iowa, please visit http://uiowa.orgsync.com/ to apply.
Each student organization has a select person or persons who are authorized to represent the student organization. The student site, uiowa.orgsync.com, has a listing of the authorized officers for coordination with University departments. If your student organization does not have an advisor, then the officer listed on the OrgSync site must preapprove the desired product and design concept prior to any submission of the license application and artwork to the Trademark Licensing Program. However, if your organization has an official advisor, the advisor must complete this preapproval process. The “Application & Agreement” Document includes instructions on how to identify who has approved the application. Approval may also be required by the department head.
The University recognizes student organizations on three different levels. The regulations and logo usage differ for each level. For descriptions and to find which level your student organization is classified, click here. The Sponsored Student Organizations are considered the highest level, the Affiliated Student Organizations are the second highest, and the General Student Organizations are the lowest level. The Sponsored Student Organizations and Affiliated Student Organizations will have access to the University’s logos (besides the Tigerhawk) and word marks. The General Student Organizations will not have access to the logos and limited use of word marks.
It should be noted that final approval of all products and artwork bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa are at the discretion of the Trademark Licensing Office consistent with The University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Program Brand Standards (Brand Standards) and the Trademark Licensing Office’s policies. To read more about official University Licensing policies from the University’s Operations Manual, click here.
Requirements and Restrictions
The student organization requestor must be a registered student of The University of Iowa. To see if you are a registered student organization, refer to the link above that describes the levels of organizations.
It is imperative that a licensed vendor is used for production and manufacture of any product bearing the marks 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. Furthermore, 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. Click here to search for licensed vendors that may be used for production.
In all cases, when a recognized student organization would like to use word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa, the proposed artwork must carry the official name of the student 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. As such, the Tigerhawk may not be used in the creation of derivative logos for student organizations; this kind of use dilutes and distorts the brand associated with the Tigerhawk. Herky is the preferred identifying mark of 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 standards that must be adhered to.
Recognized 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
Combinations 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: 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.
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.
Student organizations may use third party businesses or outside organizations as sponsors for any event or occasion they are hosting. Sponsors may only be listed as plain text apart from the University’s logos and word marks; on the back of a t-shirt, for example. The sponsors’ logos are not permitted.
Example: “Sponsored by: ______, ______, ______, ______, etc.”
Related to the Prohibited Products and Artwork section, sponsors that are inappropriate, unacceptable, or inconsistent with the standard practices of the University will not be allowed. The University reserves the right to edit or prohibit sponsors being used.
Applicant must submit the completed Student Organization Application & Agreement and artwork to the Trademark Licensing Office for pre-production approval. The Application and Agreement can be found on our website at uilicensing.com under the “Internal Request Forms” tab. For artwork to be approved, it cannot arrive absent a completed application; for purposes of efficiency, please submit artwork and completed applications at the same time.
Not all requests are approved. This application only becomes an agreement when signed and approved by the Trademark Licensing Office.
Ordinarily, royalties are charges assessed by the Licensing Program to the licensees for the approved use of the University’s marks. The standard charge is 12% of sales, and the promotional use charge is 15%. Approved products for internal organizational use or philanthropic use are royalty-free.
Approved products for fundraising/resale or promotion, regardless of purpose, will be subject to applicable royalties.
Products for recognized 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 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 student organization creates products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with The University of Iowa for student members. Payment for internal use products solely covers the cost of production. Internal Use products are royalty-exempt.
Examples: Membership t-shirts, officer/executive board apparel, 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 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 student organization’s activities. Please note that while a 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: Organizational trips, hosting professional speakers, funding scholarships, organizational and social activities, etc.
Promotional: 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 items to all students who stop at the student organization’s booth at the Student Organization Fair, give away of t-shirts to the first 100 students to come to an event, etc.
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 style guide released August 3, 2012 for complete explanations.
Please allow two weeks for processing of your request. Please note that the beginning of each academic semester is a peak application submission period and additional processing time may be required in those periods.
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. 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 Student Organization Application & Agreement and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include information on the application consistent with Trademark Licensing Office policy on appropriate products. See above, “Requirements and Restrictions”, 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 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 University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Program.
When you and the licensed vendor have finalized an artwork design, the licensed vendor, per its contract with The University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Program, needs to independently submit the artwork to the Trademark Licensing Office for approval.
Upon receipt of the Student Organization Application & Agreement and artwork, your application and artwork will be reviewed by the Trademark Licensing Office.
Note: 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 email@example.com.