Visual Brand Identity, Trademarks, and Licensing

Scope: Who is Covered by this Policy?

 Employees, Students, and  all others


Miami University owns and controls its name(s) and other marks, logos, insignias, seals, designs, depictions of campus buildings and landmarks, and symbols that make up its visual brand identity and that have become associated with the institution. To fully protect the University’s brand, Miami registers the marks and manages their use through licensing. These two steps would not be sufficient, however, if the University permitted each and every proposed use of its visual brand identity. For example, some uses could harm the very reputation that the marks represent. In other cases, the nature of goods and services may pose such significant legal risks that they should not be approved, and some uses may potentially harm the marks unless they are carefully controlled.  The Manager of University Trademarks and Licensing is responsible for overseeing the use of the University’s name and all identifying marks, both on and off campus.

Campus departments and recognized student organizations that are a part of  the University are permitted, with the approval of the Manager of University Trademarks and Licensing to use Miami’s visual brand identity in print and digital mediums and on merchandise.

Miami University will not approve the use of its visual brand identity in conjunction with certain types of organizations, companies, products, or services. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol productsTobacco products, merchandise, or organizations
  • Illegal drugs products, merchandise, or organizations
  • Inherently dangerous products, merchandise, or organizations, including weapons, firearms or explosives
  • Sexually suggestive products, merchandise, or organizations
  • Products, merchandise, or organizations that are or depict racist, sexist, hateful, demeaning or degrading language or statements
  • Products, merchandise, or organizations that use profanity
  • Gambling-related products, merchandise, or organizations
  • Products that contain statements impugning other universities
  • Products that present an unacceptable risk of liability
  • Products, merchandise, or organizations that are harmful to the mission or integrity of the institution
  • Products that contain another entity’s registered trademark, unless explicit written permission has been granted.

University trademarks cannot be used by private and/or corporate businesses in the sale of commercial products or advertising without the express written permission of the Manager of University Trademarks and Licensing. The institution’s visual brand identity may not be used in any manner that suggests or implies endorsement of another organization, company, product, service, political party or view, or religious belief. University trademarks cannot be incorporated into off-campus business telephone numbers, Internet addresses or Internet domain names.

Any and all uses of the names, numbers, and/or images of Miami University student athletes must comply with Miami University policies and NCAA regulations.

Only an officially licensed vendor may produce merchandise bearing the Miami University name or marks. Miami University is committed to ethical and fair labor practices. The Manager of University Trademarks and Licensing, in connection with our licensing agent, Learfield Licensing Partners, ensures that all items incorporating Miami brand marks (including names of departments and any recognized club and organization affiliated with Miami) are manufactured by companies whose labor policies ensure that their employees are safe from abusive labor practices. Miami University is a member of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC).

In instances where there is uncertainty regarding the appropriate use of any Miami University’s visual brand identity, the Manager of University Trademarks and Licensing, along with the Vice President & Chief Marketing and Communications Office and the General Counsel, will determine the best course of action.

Related Form(s)

Not applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures


Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officers

Vice President & Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Manager of University Trademarks and Licensing 

Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Recent Revision History

Edited July 2018; Amended July 2019

Reference ID(s)

MUPIM 18.3

Reviewing Bodies