Use of the University’s Trademarks

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University Policy Number 1130


Responsible Office: ,

Policy Procedure:

George Mason University Visual Identity Guide

Related Law & Policy:

15 USC Chapter 22; VA Code § 59.1-92.1 et seq.

University Policy 1111, University Publication and Printing Function

I.                   SCOPE.


These policies and procedures apply to all users of the University’s trademarks. They describe the general guidelines for using the University’s federally registered trademarks and all trademarks identified as a mark, logo, design, seal, etc. of the University.  The University’s goals are to protect its trademarks and strengthen its corporate brand and marketing reach.


II.                POLICY


The Rector and Visitors of George Mason University own all of the names, nicknames, trademarks (federally registered trademarked by the University and otherwise), service marks, seals, indicia, logos and mascots which relate to or have become associated with George Mason University (“Mason” or “University”).  The University has contracted a licensing agent, Collegiate Licensing Company, to assist the University in marketing and managing the use of its trademarks on merchandise.


The University has registered many of its names, marks, indicia and logos with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The University’s Auxiliary Enterprises administers the trademark licensing program and use of trademarks on merchandise.  The University’s Communications and Marketing Office oversees the direction of the University’s visual identity, marketing, and trademark use.  Creative Services provides guidance for the University’s visual identity and approves graphic designs for departments.  Student Involvement provides guidance and approves graphic designs of student organizations.


The Office of Communications and Marketing is responsible for the review and approval of any new marks, logos, etc.  Office of University Counsel maintains the official inventory of federally registered trademarks and is responsible for registering new approved trademarks.




The University’s trademarks include, but are not limited to, the words: “GMU”, “George Mason”, “George Mason Patriots”, “George Mason University”, “GMU.EDU”, “Mason”, “Mason Nation”, “THATCamp”, “We Are Mason”, “Mason Online,” “Mason Global,” “Mason Songdo” and all of the marks as set out on Attachment A and Attachment B; and all current and future trademarks, service marks, word marks, designs or logos used by the University.

The University asserts ownership over its name and any trademark that has come to be associated with George Mason University.  The University has registered or filed to register certain of its trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Trademark – a name, word, phrase, symbol, and/or combination of words and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others; a service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods (USPTO).  The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks (USPTO).  In practice, a trademark also enhances the desirability of a product and, when properly controlled, can increase the value of the product as well as the goodwill inherent in the mark. For the purposes of this Policy, “trademark” is used to indicate any or all of the following: trademark, trade name, service mark, logo, insignia, indicia, emblem, symbol, identifying mark, mark, and name.

Registered Trademark – a trademark that has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Federal registration provides additional protection against and remedies for trademark infringement.

Infringement – unauthorized use of a trademark that belongs to another, or use of a trademark as similar to that of another as to cause the likelihood of confusion in the minds of the public as to the source (affiliation or sponsorship) of the product or service.

See Attachment A for federally registered marks.  See Attachment B for other trademarks of Mason.




University departments, colleges, organizations, and other internal units must use the logos or trademarks of the University in accordance with guidelines established by Creative Services and Intercollegiate Athletics.  Student organizations must obtain graphic design approval from Student Involvement.  Businesses, vendors, and community partners must obtain approval from Auxiliary Enterprises to use the University’s marks on any products.  The University’s trademarks shall adhere to the standards of quality in materials, design, workmanship, use, advertising and promotion as set forth in the University’s Visual Identity Guide, or as dictated by the University.  Users of the trademarks shall comply with any updates or changes by the University with respect to the style, appearance and manner of use and placement of the Trademarks.  Authorized users of the Trademarks shall not adopt or use, without the express and prior written consent of the University, any variation of the Trademarks.


Use or reproduction of any logos or trademarks by external entities is prohibited without the express approval of the University.  If approval is given, a license agreement will be executed.


All products must be manufactured by a vendor licensed through our licensing agent, unless otherwise approved in writing by Auxiliary Enterprises.  Only Mason’s licensees are authorized to manufacture and distribute all goods and merchandise bearing the name, indicia, trademarks or logos of Mason. Additionally, all vendors must maintain membership with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and pay royalties for use of trademarks, unless otherwise exempted in writing by Auxiliary Enterprises.


The University’s marks will not be used in any manner tending to diminish the reputation and image of the University.  The University’s trademarks are not to be used in any way that discriminates or implies discrimination against any persons based on any prohibited basis under Virginia or federal law, or that would violate the University’s anti-discrimination policies.




This Policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost. This Policy will be reviewed periodically by the Office of University Counsel and Auxiliary Enterprises.




___________/S_______________                        _____________/S___________________
Jennifer (J.J.) Wagner Davis                                         Peter Stearns, Provost

Senior Vice President for

Administration and Finance




Revised  4/15/2013

Revision Approved 10/13/14

Reviewed 9/23/16