Central Michigan University's trademark licensing program protects, preserves and enhances CMU's heritage and identity.
CMU Registered Trademarks
CMU’s registered trademarks include signature marks and names. Only licensed vendors are approved to reproduce and/or sell product bearing CMU's registered trademarks.
Examples of university trademarks include any graphic representation relating to the following:
- CMU ®
- Central Michigan ®
- Central Michigan University ®
Action C Combination
Official CMU Seal
CMU Signature Phrases
CMU Signature Phrases should not include a TM or a registration mark. Examples of our signature phrases are:
- CMU® Chippewas 1
- Fire Up Chips! 2
1 A CMU identiﬁer must be used when using the Chippewas name. Identiﬁers include the Action C Combination mark, CMU®, Central Michigan® or Central Michigan University®
2 Please note the only approved use of the word "Chips" is within the phrase "Fire Up Chips!"
For more information about licensing and trademarks, contact Lindsay Darling at
Apply for a License
Any person, business or organization with an interest in marketing products bearing the trademarks of Central Michigan University needs to first obtain a license through Collegiate Licensing Company. This also includes sale to CMU departments, campus organizations and registered student organizations. There are two forms of licenses available with CMU through CLC: a retail license and an internal license.
Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC)
A copy of the licensing application can be downloaded and printed from CLC's website.
Guidelines for One-Time Trademark Usage
CMU trademarks and logos are generally reserved for use by CMU units, sponsored student organizations and licensed vendors only. But there are certain exceptions where individuals not affiliated with CMU may use the marks. They include:
- Cakes for celebratory events such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings.
- Gravestones and funeral urns.
- High school graduation announcements and party invitations for students graduating from high school and planning to attend Central Michigan University.
- Graduation announcements and party invitations for students graduating from Central Michigan University.
Get One-Time Usage Permission
Guidelines for Students Using CMU Marks
CMU registered student organization and club sports may use CMU marks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the recommended product colors to place CMU marks on?
Maroon, gold or white are the recommended product colors for CMU branded items. Black or grey items are not encouraged, but if you do choose either, then the two-color maroon and gold mark/lockup should be used. Black or grey items with a gold and white mark are not permitted. Black and gold is not an approved CMU color combination.
Can I print CMU signature marks as a one-color imprint?
Yes, one-color imprints are permitted when printing signature marks. Below are approved one-color combinations for a maroon, gold, white, and black/grey item.
- Maroon item: all gold or all white is permitted.
- Gold item: all maroon is permitted. All black is not permitted on a gold item.
- White item: all maroon is permitted.
- Black/grey item: all maroon is the first option or all white as the second option. All gold is not permitted on a black/grey item.
Can I produce fashion color items?
Yes, fashion colors are permitted for use. CMU defines fashion colors as colors that are not in use by other Michigan universities, such as pink, lime green, camo, etc.
Can I embroider the Action C Combination Lockup?
Yes, the Action C Combination Lockup can be embroidered. If you would like a lockup embroidery file, please submit your request to University Communications through our
signature mark request form.
Who needs to use an official licensee, and where can I find a list of approved vendors?
If your order will include a Central Michigan University mark in the design, it must be produced by an official licensee. Please visit
https://clc.com/license-search/ for a complete list of approved vendors for Central Michigan University.
If my product is not going to be resold, do I still have to select a licensed vendor?
All items bearing Central Michigan University marks must be produced by a licensed vendor, whether or not items are for resale. The main reason for this is brand consistency. Products that are not being resold hold just as much brand importance as items that are sold at a retail location.
Who must be licensed?
Anyone or any business/organization wishing to produce Central Michigan University's trademarks or verbiage on a product must have a license before offering the product for sale. This also includes sale to CMU departments, campus organizations and registered student organizations.
How does licensing a vendor benefit the university?
In addition to protecting CMU from product liability, the use of licensed vendors helps to ensure that the Central Michigan University name is not used improperly or on unsafe products, such as knives and flammable items. Furthermore, licensed vendors are required to join the Fair Labor Association, which monitors overseas factories.
What if I wish to use Central Michigan University trademarks on a publication or brochure?
The trademarks of CMU may not be used on publications, brochures, advertising or miscellaneous print material without permission from the university.
Why do the symbols ® and TM sometimes appear on products with the Central Michigan University name or logos?
The ® and TM signify ownership of a trademark. The TM symbol indicates that the word, symbol or design it is placed next to is a trademark. The ® symbol indicates that the trademark is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These symbols signal CMU's ownership of its trademarks and assist the university in its trademark enforcement efforts.
Why is liability a concern when distributing promotional items and giveaways?
In the event that a product with the Central Michigan University name or logos causes damage or injury, CMU could be held responsible. The trademark licensing agreement signed by licensed vendors helps to protect CMU by transferring product liability back to the vendor. Moreover, licensed vendors are required to carry product liability insurance.
What kinds of products can not be licensed?
Weapons, firearms and tobacco products are not appropriate items for licensing. Other products will be considered, but Central Michigan University has the right to decline any item.
How does the artwork approval process work?
If you have completed the licensing process through CLC, you will receive information on submitting artwork through CLC's Brand Manager 360. This site manages the entire artwork approval process online. If you order a product through a CMU-licensed vendor, the artwork will be approved by CMU prior to manufacturing from that vendor.
How can I tell if a product is officially licensed?
Look for the Collegiate Licensed Product Authorization label. This label assures you that the merchandise on which it is affixed has been approved for sale by Central Michigan University and CLC.
What does Central Michigan University do if unlicensed merchandise is discovered in the marketplace?
Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit or infringing on CMU's trademarks and subject to all available legal remedies.