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Trademarks and Licensing for Merch


A trademark is a word, symbol, design, combination of words and design, slogan or even a distinctive sound that identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one party from those of another.

All variances of names and visual representations of the University of California San Diego are considered university and campus trademarks. Manufacture and sale of merchandise (t-shirts, stickers, mugs, etc.) bearing the University's name or other trademarks shall be exclusively through the campus bookstore, on-campus distributors authorized to distribute goods on behalf of the bookstore, or authorized off-campus distributors operating under a license granted by the Chancellor. (PPM 510-10)

The following pages cover the licensing requirements for imprinted products, apparel and merchandise (T-shirts, water bottles, pens, tote bags, stickers, etc.). Websites, digital graphics, videos and printed paper collateral (brochures, flyers, posters, etc.) are exempt.

UC San Diego Trademarks

UC San Diego’s trademarks include — but are not limited to — the following marks and names:

Trademarks (TM)

  • Campus name
  • UC San Diego logo
  • UC San Diego unit sub-brand logos
  • UC San Diego Athletics logo
  • UC San Diego Health logo
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography logo
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps logo
  • UC San Diego college logos

Registered Trademarks (®)

  • UC San Diego seal
  • UC San Diego Tritons logo
  • Tritons

Design Expectations

All brand guidelines regarding logo use, color, spacing, etc. should be followed when designing imprinted products:

  • The campus logo should be included on all imprinted products.
  • The logo does not need to be the most dominant element, but it should be prominent enough to clearly communicate a connection to campus.
  • For academic and administrative units, the UC San Diego logo is always preferred over UC San Diego Athletics logos or setting the campus name in regular type.
  • Where the campus name appears in text, use UC San Diego, not UCSD.
  • When the campus name or marks are used on imprinted products, they must be accompanied by the appropriate trademark symbol (TM or ®).
  • Since the campus logo is printed in a range of sizes, the TM is best applied during the design process. The designer of the piece is responsible for adding these marks (in many cases, the vendor is the designer).
UC San Diego logo and seal
Technical or size constraints? For brand or design consultations, contact University Communications.


Ordering Branded Products

All vendors for imprinted items must be licensed through CLC, a collegiate licensing agency. Licensing protects the UC San Diego brand and minimizes the risk of using a vendor whose business practices counter the UC Code of Conduct. You can view a list of licensed vendors here (select UC San Diego in the drop-down menu).

  • Licensing through CLC is separate from vendor listings in Oracle, which approves vendors for services and nonbranded goods.
  • Vendors can get licensed at the CLC website.

Art Review

All apparel and imprinted products must be reviewed for brand compliance prior to printing. It is the vendor’s responsibility to submit items for approval via our licensing company, CLC. Review adds time to the overall approval and manufacturing process. We recommend allowing 5-10 business days in the production schedule for licensing approvals, especially in case design changes are needed.

STEP 1: The licensed vendor submits art through CLC’s web portal for review.

STEP 2: The art is reviewed for proper use of campus logos and trademarks.

  • The Office of Trademark and Licensing reviews for appropriate trademark symbols.
  • University Communications reviews for brand consistency.

STEP 3: If art is disapproved, the vendor contacts the customer to resolve any design issues. Revised art is resubmitted.

STEP 4: Once art is approved, the vendor can print the product.

For inquiries related to licensing, contact the UC San Diego Office of Trademark and Licensing.