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Trademark Licensing

Northwestern has a long-standing policy of protecting the symbols that are associated with its name and reputation as one of the finest universities in the country. The University has exclusive rights to its name, logos, trademarks, songs, mottos, and mascots and prohibits their unauthorized use.

Duties of the Trademark Licensing Office:

  • Protect and monitor the use of the University's name and insignias
  • Ensure that the public properly identifies and associates University logos on products bearing Northwestern's marks

Vendors must be licensed by the University

Vendors who manufacture and sell imprinted items (to the public or to Northwestern departments) must operate under specific guidelines:

  • The Trademark Licensing Office must approve all products and designs
  • The items must include an "officially licensed" hangtag or label
  • Royalty reports must be submitted on a regular basis

The Trademark Licensing Office can verify that a department's choice of vendor is licensed. If the vendor is not licensed, we can assist the vendor in becoming licensed or provide the department with a list of licensed vendors.

Northwestern University indicia must conform to approved standards

Northwestern marks must be used properly and on quality merchandise. The Trademark Licensing Office must be contacted to verify correct usage and standards before either the public or the University community uses any mark or new design incorporating a Northwestern mark.

Learn more about licensing and the correct usage of University indicia: