Updated UC Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensing
On March 17, 2017, the University of California (“UC”) issued an updated Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees (“Code”), replacing the Code promulgated in January 2000. The updated Code, renamed the Trademark Licensing Code of Conduct Policy, conforms to UC’s policy format, clarifies the scope to apply to all UC locations, defines key terms, amends and strengthens previous provisions, and references important legislative requirements.
President Napolitano, in her letter of March 17, 2017, stated that “The policy is important to protecting the University of California brand and its reputation by ensuring that the University's trademark licensees adhere to high ethical standards in manufacturing goods bearing the names and other trademarks of the University of California and its campuses, including abbreviations, logos, mascots, seals, or other trademarks owned by the University. The revised policy makes clearer, both to the University's trademark licensees and to internal University stakeholders, the expectations and requirements that all UC logoed goods must be produced (1) under fair, safe, and humane working conditions throughout the supply chain, and (2) by companies authorized to place University's name and other trademarks on such products.”
As with the 2000 Code when it was issued, the 2017 Code sets high labor standards and demonstrates the University’s commitment to the socially responsible production of its logoed goods. UC continues to demonstrate its leadership, impact, and commitment to improving worker rights and is collaborating with other national civil society leaders to guide discussion and efforts.
October 2014: UCLA’s Trademark and Licensing Director Cindy Holmes was a panel member at the Global Human Rights & Labor Standards Symposium discussing Transparency Challenges in Sourcing of Promotional and Blank Goods
Ensuring workers’ rights and safer working conditions in Bangladesh
Following tragic accidents as a result of unsound buildings and fires in Bangladesh, and in particular the Rana Plaza collapse in April of 2013, the Committee made a recommendation which it felt could help to mitigate against further tragedies to Bangladeshi garment workers.
August 2014: The Alliance and the Accord are relatively young organizations, both established less than two years ago. While they have taken different approaches toward governance and remediation, these organizations pursue the common goal of improving the conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh. UC requires that licensees who source UC-logoed goods from Bangladesh be members either of the Accord or the Alliance. UC licensees will have six months to make this transition. UC’s approach will allow UC to continue to engage with both organizations, monitor progress, and evaluate outcomes of these organizations’ efforts.
April 2014: UC’s Committee on the Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees recommends that the university require its trademark licensees who source their UC apparel from Bangladesh to become a signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord). While both the Accord and Alliance on Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) had developed goals of safer workplaces for Bangladeshi workers, the Committee on the UC Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees, during its meeting on March 13, 2014, reached consensus about requiring UC’s trademark licensees to join the Accord. This followed almost a year of fact finding and communicating with the WRC, FLA, representatives of the Alliance and Accord, and other colleges/universities.