What is a trademark?

A trademark is simply a symbol or word used by a manufacturer or organization to identify its goods or services and distinguish them from its competitors. In practice, a trademark does more than that. It conveys to consumers the desirability of the product bearing the mark, and it helps to promote the goods it is identified with. Once this is accomplished, the trademark owner has attained something of value.

What qualifies as a trademark, logo and/or symbol of KU?

A trademark is any mark, word, letter or symbol associated with The University of Kansas that can be distinguished from those of other universities, teams or organizations.

What are some examples of trademarks that KU owns?

View samples here (PDF)

Who must be licensed?

Any individual, organization or company wishing to use the name or identifying marks of The University of Kansas must obtain a license. This includes manufacturers or service providers who use KU’s name or logo on products (including premiums for promotions) or in advertising.

What kinds of products may be licensed?

Most products will be considered for licensing. However, the University reserves the right to decline licensing of specific products. Alcohol and tobacco products will not be licensed. All goods bearing the marks of The University of Kansas must be licensed.

Is it true that student/campus organizations must utilize an officially licensed manufacturer of products which are specifically produced on their behalf?

Yes. These manufacturers are then obligated to submit the design to the Trademark Licensing Office for approval pursuant to the terms of their licensing agreement with the University of Kansas.

What is the process for having items produced which have the University’s name or logo on them for departmental use (T-shirts, novelty items, etc…)?

Arrangements for special events T-shirts, merchandise, or departmental promotional items should be coordinated through the Trademark Licensing Director to ensure that the manufacturers are officially licensed to use University trademarks. The Office of Trademark Licensing keeps a list of all manufacturers who are licensed and will provide a copy of this list to any recognized department or organization of the University that wishes to obtain products for general distribution. (You may also click here to see the current licensee list)

What is the process for registered student/campus organizations to gain permission to utilize the University’s logo for fund raising T-shirts and related products?

Sales on campus by student/campus organizations are coordinated through The University Events Committee (UEC) located in the Student Involvement & Leadership Center. Approval must be granted through UEC in order to sell on campus. If the product being sold has the University name or logo on it, The Manager of the Bookstore, and The Trademark Licensing Director must also grant permission in writing. Forms for this process are available in the SILC Office in the Kansas Union room 400.

Do Departments and University offices need permission to utilize the University’s trademarks?

Not always. One benefit of the new visual identity standards is that the standards for campus use of the University signature and other trademarks are well documented and available. Departments and university offices should strictly adhere to the “Visual Identity and Agreement Policy” as written. See also:  www.identity.ku.edu. Generally speaking

  1. The logos should not be altered in any fashion, and
  2. The logos should have the proper trademark symbols (the Jayhawk logo and the word “Jayhawks” should always be accompanied by the symbol ®, and
  3. The logos should not be used in association with a private business or used in a manner which might associate (or imply endorsements) by the University with an outside business or product.

What happens to the income The University of Kansas receives from licensing?

Proceeds generated by the trademark licensing program are returned to KU students through academic or athletic scholarships and student programs administered by the KU Endowment Association. All net royalties are deposited into these funds annually.

How can University Offices/Units or Retailers find a licensed vendor for a University of Kansas Product?

To find out what officially licensed vendor may have a specific product you are looking for, check here: http://www.clc.com/Licensing-Info/Client-License-List.aspx

For more information, to request permission to use the image or to report unlicensed goods, contact:

Paul Vander Tuig
Assistant Athletic Director – Trademark Licensing
Office of Trademark Licensing
1412 Wagnon Student Athlete Center
1651 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS. 66045
Phone: (785) 864-4650
e-mail: pvt@ku.edu