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Settlement Reached in Illini Trademark Case

Updated: Friday, October 18 2013, 10:12 AM CDT

The five-year battle over a controversial symbol may now be over.

The University of Illinois has been trying to protect its logo trademarks since 2008. That's one year after officially retiring the chief as a university symbol.

But outside groups pushed on, using the symbols on clothing, websites, and events.

Both the university and the Honor The Chief Society came to terms that would allow the group to honor the chief, but restrict them from using any university-owned images.

The group is also not allowed to use the term "Chief Illiniwek."

University officials said it's a step they have to take to uphold the university's reputation.

"Any logos that we have that are current, any logos that are retired and are still used in our vault program, we have to be able to protect those," U of I spokesperson Robin Kaler said. "That's the only way we can protect our brand and our good name."

Despite the agreement, the university says it still "does not in any way approve, sponsor, or endorse" the events honoring the chief.

Under the settlement, the Honor the Chief Society is allowed to use the trademark and Chief Illiniwek name only if advocating for the symbol's reinstatement, or when talking about the history of the Chief.

Settlement Reached in Illini Trademark Case


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