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Licensing & Trademarks

Introduction to Licensing and Trademarks

The University of Delaware Licensing and Trademark Program was developed to promote, enhance, elevate and protect the University’s identity and brand and ensure the proper and appropriate use of its name, logos and trademarks. The University has registered many of University of Delaware’s names, logos and trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the State of Delaware.

As defined by the U.S. Patents & Trademarks Office, “a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” A trademark need not be registered in order to protect the rights to it, simply by using or displaying a mark acquires automatic trademark rights to the owner.

A consistent, coordinated presentation of the University’s identity enhances the University’s reputation for excellence and helps identify the many benefits the University provides. The more consistently graphic elements are used, the stronger the visual identity and the stronger the visual identity and use of consistent wording, the greater the awareness and recognition of the University.

The goals of the University of Delaware Licensing and Trademark Program are to:

  • Ensure the proper use of trademarks, service marks, logos and insignias on products associated with the University to maintain standards in keeping with the quality of the University of Delaware.
  • Protect the University’s reputation, good name and image by permitting only appropriate uses and assuring that only quality products bear the University’s name, initials or logos through requiring that official licensees be used to imprint or produce any products bearing University marks unless they are produced on campus by authorized units.
  • Generate royalty income to benefit student scholarships.

These policies and procedures are designed to provide guidance for users and to ensure that institutional images follow high standards befitting the University.

The Licensing and Trademark Program is administered by Communications and Public Affairs, in consultation with other University offices and the University of Delaware Licensing Advisory Committee.

Licensing Advisory Committee

The University of Delaware Licensing Advisory Committee supports the management and preservation of University of Delaware institutional brand image, reputation, name and logos that promote and market the University. Committee members represent a variety of areas within the University and provide guidance to protect and ensure proper use of the University’s marks and names.

Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Support University of Delaware trademark licensing efforts by reviewing, as requested, the use of University trademarks on commercial products.
  2. Provide guidance for approval/disapproval of uses of University trademarks on commercial products and other ventures for both domestic and international use. Periodically, or as requested, review graphic concepts and samples of product type and quality, artwork and/or usage of University name and mark.
  3. Support the goals of Communications and Public Affairs, Administrative Services, Athletic Department, Alumni Relations and other key individuals and units with regard to contract compliance requirements of manufactures, or business entities, including e-commerce strategies, related to merchandise sales of licensed products for the University and the use of the University name and marks.
  4. Support the oversight of all use of University trademarks by University colleges, departments, units, organizations and individuals by Communications and Public Affairs.
  5. Work with and receive guidance from the Collegiate Licensing Company, the University’s licensing partner and agent, to ensure the best balance of licensees, enforcement of restrictions, promotion of the University brand both internally and externally, and coordination of the approval of any new University logos or designs.
  6. Support campus communications strategies concerning trademark management, including guidance on developing and implementing policies to promote University of Delaware licensed products.
  7. Support University procurement policies, licensing infringement activities and game day trademark enforcement activities to ensure retail shops and athletic venues are free of counterfeit product.
  8. Support the University’s relationship with trademark licensees and retail support partners in developing, approving and implementing marketing materials that support their business and positively promote the University.