Trademarks & Licensing Services Overview
Established in 1976 to protect the USC name and identifying marks, the USC Office of Trademarks & Licensing Services (TLS) was one of the first collegiate licensing programs in the nation. Since that time, individuals and organizations who wish to use the university's identifying trademarks on commercial products must obtain permission to do so by securing a trademark license agreement through the TLS office.
By licensing products that feature the university's marks, TLS seeks to preserve and promote the university's long standing reputation as a center of academic and athletic excellence. USC's leadership in research, teaching, service and athletic competition creates a market for products displaying the university's name and associated marks. USC only licenses those products which reflect positively upon the university. Further, trademark licensing enables USC to share in the financial benefits derived from the commercial use of its marks. These funds are used to support student scholarships and the university’s athletic program. Students, faculty, alumni, staff, friends and the general public support the university and its mission through the purchase of licensed products.
In addition to merchandise licensing, TLS serves as a resource to the USC campus community. TLS manages the filing and maintenance of USC’s trademark registrations, and serves as the contact point in relation to general trademark registration inquiries and requests. These activities are handled cooperatively with the Office of the General Counsel.