Section Title

Brand Standards

Usage Policies: Registered Marks


The University of Michigan has many registered marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Please contact if you have questions regarding other U-M logos.

Block-M: A federally registered trademark.

The U-M Block M is a federally registered trademark held by the Regents of the University of Michigan, and is one of the most widely recognized university logos in the world. 

= federal trademark registration 
has been applied for and granted


The federal registered trademark designation is different from the trademark or “TM” designation, which indicates that the trademark is considered protected, even though federal registration may not have been filed.

trademarked = notice that you consider the mark protected,
even though you have not (and may never) file for federal registration


Entities that hold federally registered trademarks have the option to use the “circle R” symbol (also known as the “R-Ball”) alongside the registered trademark, as a notice to others that the mark already belongs to someone.

Use of the circle R is not required by law. The university’s undisputed use of it over the  years makes it unnecessary; therefore, the university is able to determine when it is prudent to use the symbol. 

The circle R (“R-Ball”) symbol is recommended for use:

  • whenever the Block M is used as a graphic element on retail merchandise, whether from M Den or Walmart. (Retail products are managed by the university's Licensing Office through the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC))
  • whenever the Block M is used as a standalone graphic element on a poster, t-shirt, premium item, or other instance where the complete logo and school/college or unit logos are absent:

It is not necessary to use the circle R (“R-Ball”) symbol:

  • when the Block M is being used as part of the official U-M mark:

  • when it is used as a graphic element in marketing or communications materials that also include the official University of Michigan logo and/or the official logo of one of its schools, colleges, or units:
  • when it is used in conjunction with school, college, or unit logos on premium items or products.


The following logos are federally registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and carry a circle R (®) designation:

  • University of Michigan logo with Block M
  • Standalone Block M
  • Split Block M logo (with ‘Michigan’ through center bar)
  • Bordered Block M 
  • Football helmet
  • M Go Blue logo

The following wordmarks are also federally registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and carry a circle R (®) designation:

  • The Michigan Difference
  • Big House
  • Maize Rage
  • Hail to the Victors
  • Michigan

The following wordmarks are considered protected and require a TM (™) designation:

  • University of Michigan
  • UM
  • U-M
  • U of M
  • Expect Respect
  • Wolverines
  • Michigan Wolverines
  • Go Blue
  • Let’s Go Blue M
  • The Victors
  • Victors Valiant
  • Champions of the West
  • Conquering Heroes
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Crisler Arena
  • Yost Arena

The following marks are no longer in use:

  • Block M with Seal
  • Block M with Wolverine
  • "Split" Block M 
  • Seal with red accents