Trademark and Licensing

Trademark usage

WMU trademarks are the property of Western Michigan University. All uses, either print or electronic, must be approved in advance by the WMU licensing office located in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Unauthorized use of WMU trademarks is prohibited. The University, in cooperation with our licensing agent, Licensing Resource Group, vigorously enforces our trademark rights.

Internal use

For University use such as letterhead, brochures, reports, etc., there is no licensing approval required. However, the visual identity guidelines must be followed. The trademarks may not be altered and should be reproduced using a high-quality master image. These are available from the WMU licensing office or the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

External use

University departments may, with permission of the licensing director, use University marks to raise funds for their own organization or charitable support. Items acquired for such purposes must be acquired from licensees and have the design artwork approved by the WMU licensing office. The licensee or organization will be required to pay royalties on the product in such cases. The trademarks may not be changed. Alteration of the trademarks may dilute them and weaken their protection.

Student organization use

Student organizations that have items produced bearing WMU marks are required to buy them from licensed vendors and have the design artwork approved by the WMU licensing office (licensed vendors will submit the artwork for you). If the items are for sale to the public, then the licensee or organization will also be required to pay royalties. The trademarks may not be altered. Alteration of the trademarks may dilute them and weaken their protection.

Unauthorized use

The WMU licensing office works in cooperation with Licensing Resource Group to enforce the University’s trademark rights. The University is committed to protecting WMU trademarks and the reputation they represent. No use of WMU trademarks is permitted without written consent of the Western Michigan University licensing office.

Any information regarding possible trademark infringement should be reported to the Licensing Resource Group at (616) 395-0676 x103 or the WMU assistant athletic director for sports marketing, media relations and trademark licensing at (269) 387-3098.

Who must be licensed?

Anyone who uses the name or marks of Western Michigan University for a commercial purpose must be licensed. Manufacturers of products with WMU marks on them are required to pay an 8 percent royalty on the wholesale price of the item. WMU trademark use in advertisements, motion pictures, etc., also requires licensing approval and a payment of a licensing fee. License applications are available from Licensing Resource Group or by phone at (616) 395-0676. 

Western Michigan University’s trademarks

A WMU trademark is any mark, logo, symbol, nickname, letter(s), word or derivative that can be associated with Western Michigan University and can be distinguished from other institutions or entities. 

Some examples of WMU trademarks are:

  • Western Michigan University
  • Western Michigan University Broncos
  • Western Michigan
  • Western Michigan Broncos
  • WMU Broncos
  • WMU

WMU trademarks used in the traditional news media are not subject to licensing fees.