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Trademarks & Licensing

General Information

Trademark licensing information

Trademark Act of 1946 (“Lanham Act”) named for Rep. Fritz G. Lanham of Texas was signed into law by President Harry Truman on July 5, 1946 and became effective one year later.

The Lanham Act defines the statutory and common law boundaries to trademarks and service marks. Trademarks (and service marks) are words or designs used to distinguish the goods and services of one entity from another. Rights to use a trademark are defined by the class(es) of goods and services for which the trademark is used. The Lanham Act defines the scope of a trademark, the process by which a federal registration can be obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark, and penalties for trademark infringement.

University Of Cincinnati trademark licensing

The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees has established a licensing program to protect the name and identifying marks of the university and to prohibit the unauthorized use of university marks on commercial or other products.

In addition, in order to comply with and assure protection under federal, state, and international trademark laws, the University of Cincinnati is required to monitor and control all uses of its trademarks. Unauthorized use of UC trademarks is subject to civil and criminal penalties. The university reserves the right to take appropriate action when confronted with unauthorized use of its trademarks. Such actions may include confiscation of the goods, financial penalties, and legal action.


Empowered by the Board of Trustees, the Office of Trademarks & Licensing serves the university by managing the commercial use of its name and identifying marks to enhance the image of the university. It is the responsibility of the office to insure the university receives the appropriate commercial value for the use of its trademarks, to actively enforce the unauthorized use of its name and logos, and to promote the reputation and goodwill of the university.

What are UC’s trademarks?

A trademark is any word, name, symbol or device, or any combination thereof, used to identify or distinguish the source of a good from those of others. UC owns and protects multiple trademarks including, without limitation, its name, logos, colors, helmets, uniforms, slogans, mascot, distinctive landmarks, and other indicia.

The unauthorized use of the University’s protected marks in a manner that is likely to lead to consumer confusion as to source, affiliation, sponsorship, endorsement, approval, etc. or likely to dilute the strength of the University’s mark may violate the University’s trademark rights and may give rise to various causes of action under federal and state law. Use of the University’s protected marks without permission from the University or its authorized trademark licensing representative, The Collegiate Licensing Company, may subject you to criminal and/or civil penalties.

When to use the ® and ™ symbols

The ® and ™ give the public notice of the university’s ownership in the trademarks.

The ™ initials are recognized as an abbreviation for trademark and should be used for words, symbols, artwork, etc. that give reference to the University of Cincinnati.

The ® denotes that the word, symbol or artwork is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

These symbols must be used on all items of merchandise, whether for distribution or resale, and whether for internal or external use, including, but not limited to:

  • Clothing
  • Novelties
  • Pens
  • Key chains
  • Mugs
  • Pennants

Print- or Web-based material produced by the university for the purpose of official university business can omit the symbols. However, when space allows, the following disclaimer should appear:

The words “University of Cincinnati” and the identifying marks used on this document are official trademarks of the University of Cincinnati and may not be reproduced without express written permission of the university.

For guidance, contact the Trademarks & Licensing Office. Exceptions granted do not constitute a change in policy.