Use of the University’s Trademarks
University Policy Number 1130
Categorized: General Policies
Related Law & Policy:
This Policy governs the use of the University’s Trademarks. The University’s goals are to protect its trademarks and strengthen its corporate brand and marketing reach.
The Rector and Visitors of George Mason University own all of the Trademarks which relate to or have become associated with George Mason University (“Mason” or “University”). The University has contracted a licensing agent, CLC – Learfield IMG College, to assist the University in marketing and managing the use of its Trademarks on merchandise.
The University has registered many of its Trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Office of Business Services administers the Trademark licensing program and use of Trademarks on merchandise for retail and internal use. The Office of Communications and Marketing oversees the direction of the University’s visual identity, marketing, and Trademark use while providing guidance on the visual identity and approval of graphic designs for departments. Student Involvement provides guidance and approves graphic designs of student organizations. The Office of University Counsel maintains the official inventory of federally registered trademarks and is responsible for registering new approved Trademarks.
Trademark means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof used to identify and distinguish goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. For the purpose of this policy, the term Trademark includes federally registered and common law trademarks, trade names, service marks, logos, insignia, indicia, emblems, symbols, identifying marks, marks, names, nicknames, seals, and mascots.
IV. USE AND QUALITY STANDARD
University departments, colleges, organizations, and other internal units must use the Trademarks of the University in accordance with guidelines established by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Business Services. Student organizations must obtain graphic design approval from Student Involvement, which must observe all university branding guidelines and requirements. Businesses, vendors, and community partners must obtain approval from Business Services to use the University’s Trademarks on any products. Users of 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 Office of Communications and Marketing. 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 Trademarks by external entities is prohibited without the express approval and licensing by the University. If approval is given, a license agreement must be executed.
All products bearing a Trademark of the University must be manufactured by a vendor licensed through the University’s licensing agent, unless otherwise approved in writing by Business Services and the Office of Communications and Marketing. The proper form of registration notice of ®, or™, or SM must be placed in immediate conjunction with the appropriate mark, unless otherwise exempted in writing by the Office of Communications and Marketing. Only Mason’s licensees are authorized to manufacture and distribute all goods and merchandise bearing the Trademarks 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 Business Services.
The University’s Trademarks 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.
V. EFFECTIVE DATE, REVIEW, AND APPROVAL
This Policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, the Provost and Executive Vice President, and the Vice President of Communications and Marketing. This Policy will be reviewed periodically by the Office of University Counsel and Office of Business Services.
Carol D. Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance
Mark R. Ginsberg
Provost and Executive Vice President
Originally Approved: April 11, 2013
Revised: April 15, 2013
Revision Approved: October 13, 2014
Reviewed: September 23, 2016
Revision Approved: October 9, 2017
Revised: May 18, 2021
Revised: July 30, 2021