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1.5.4 Ownership and Use of Stanford Trademarks and Images

Stanford Quad and Memorial Church
Last updated on:
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
15.5

This Guide Memo establishes the policies governing use of Stanford's registered trademarks, as well as the use of unregistered names, seals, logos, emblems, images, symbols and slogans that are representative of Stanford (together referred to herein as "Marks").

Authority: 

This Guide Memo was approved by the President.

Applicability: 

This Guide Memo applies to all uses of Stanford's Marks.

1. Marks

Stanford’s Marks are owned by Stanford and they are a valuable university asset.  Faculty, students, staff and alumni share in the benefits associated with the Marks, and therefore also share responsibilities to ensure correct use.  Stanford’s Trademark Licensing Office at trademarks@stanford.edu is to be consulted with any questions about Stanford’s Marks and their use.  

  1. Registered Marks: A partial list of Stanford’s registered Marks includes, but is not limited to:
    • The word “Stanford”
    • The Block "S" with tree emblem
    • The Stanford University seal

The Office of the General Counsel maintains a complete list of registered Marks.

  1. Unregistered Marks: A partial list of Stanford’s unregistered Marks includes, but is not limited to:
    • The word “Cardinal”
    • “Farm” or “The Farm”
    • The phrase “Fear the Tree”
    • Block “S” without tree emblem

Trademark Licensing maintains a complete list of unregistered Marks.

  1. Buildings and Landmarks: All buildings and landmarks that are generally recognizable as being located on Stanford’s campus or associated with Stanford are considered to be Marks. These images include, but are not limited to:
  • Hoover Tower
  • Memorial Church
  • Palm Drive
  • The Oval
  • The Main Quad
  • Memorial Courtyard
  • Bing Concert Hall
  • Cantor Arts Center
  • Stanford Stadium
  • The Engineering Quad
  • The Knight Management Center

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2. Authority

The President has delegated authority for approving use of Stanford's Marks as follows:   

  1. Provost: for use in connection with educational, research and athletics activities (including courseware and related materials developed for teaching at Stanford) and for special events.
     
  2. Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer: for use by manufacturers of merchandise and products, in connection with Stanford’s business activities, and by vendors (including promotional use). Only the Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer may grant permission for use of Stanford's Marks on merchandise and products.
     
  3. Dean of the School of Medicine: for use in connection with Stanford Medicine’s activities.
     
  4. Vice President for University Communications: for use in film, video, print and digital media, including the University's web pages.
     
  5. General Counsel: for use in connection with legal affairs.

Authority for approving all other uses of Stanford’s Marks remains with the President.

These individuals, or their delegates, will collaborate on situations that fall within the scope of authority of more than one office in order to ensure a consistent application of this policy.

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3. Use of Marks

  1. General: Stanford’s Marks may only be used by Stanford faculty, staff, students, and alumni as provided in this policy and for no other purposes. Stanford faculty and staff include only those individuals who meet the criteria listed in Sections 1 through 11 of Administrative Guide Memo 2.2.1: Definitions. Students include only individuals currently enrolled in a degree-granting program at Stanford. Alumni include only individuals who have completed at least three quarters of a degree-granting program at Stanford. No other individuals or entities may use Stanford’s Marks without the permission of an individual listed in Section 2, above, or their delegate. 
     
  2. Faculty and Staff: Stanford faculty and staff may only use Stanford’s Marks in connection with Stanford departments, institutes, events, programs, projects, activities, publications and products that are officially sponsored or sanctioned by Stanford.
    1. When a faculty or staff member is involved in activities that are not officially sponsored or sanctioned by Stanford (such as independent consulting, outside business activities, civic and volunteer work, and publications), use of Stanford's name and marks is limited to identification of the individual’s Stanford affiliation (e.g., Jane Smith, Professor of History, Stanford University). Stanford’s seal and other emblems may not be used.
       
    2. The Trademark Licensing Office (trademarks@stanford.edu) is to be consulted before using Stanford’s Marks on any product, in a book title, in the name of any non-Stanford business or activity, or in the name of a course or program that is not owned by Stanford.
       
    3. Faculty and staff members may not grant permission for use of Stanford’s Marks to individuals and entities outside of Stanford without consultation with the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer (trademarks@stanford.edu), which will then consult with the appropriate individual with delegated authority as specified in Section 2, above. This prohibition includes granting permission to (a) vendors and others in a business relationship with Stanford, (b) research sponsors, (c) donors, and (d) industrial affiliate program members. 
       
    4. All use of Stanford’s Marks in film, video, print and digital media (including in press releases) must comply with this Administrative Guide, as well as the policies established by University Communications (brandmanager@stanford.edu).
       
    5. This policy is not intended to limit use of the Stanford’s Marks in situations that fall within the normal scope of Stanford’s activities as a residential academic institution, as a research institution and as an employer. In these instances, Stanford's Marks may be used in accordance with the review processes established by schools, departments, centers and programs so long as the uses approved are consistent with the policies included in this Administrative Guide.
       
  3. Students and Alumni: Students and alumni may only use Stanford’s Marks as described below:
    1. Students and alumni may use Stanford’s name, but no other Marks, to identify their attendance at and degrees from Stanford on resumes and on digital channels such as personal web sites and social media. 
       
    2. Undergraduate and graduate students may use Stanford’s name and the Block S with tree emblem on business cards which identify their student status. The approved business card format is included in the Identity Toolkit. Alumni may not use Stanford Marks on business cards.
       
    3. Students and alumni may use Stanford’s Marks in connection with the University-sanctioned activities of student and alumni groups that have received and maintain official ASSU or Stanford Alumni Association recognition, respectively. When the Marks are used in these instances, it must be clear that the activity is either a student activity or an alumni activity, and not a University activity. 
       
    4. Only recognized student and alumni groups may produce merchandise that incorporates Stanford Marks. Such merchandise may only be produced in connection with University-sanctioned activities and must comply with all policies and procedures established by the Trademark Licensing Office for licensed product.
       
  4. Additional Considerations: Use of Stanford’s Marks must comply with the following:
    1. In all situations, use of Marks by an authorized individual or entity must be consistent with Stanford’s academic and research mission and its reputation for excellence. 
       
    2. All uses of Stanford’s Marks must comply with applicable policies and guidelines, including those included in the Trademark Licensing website, the Identity Toolkit, the Name Use Guidelines, and all other policies and guidelines listed in Section 8, below.
       
    3. All uses of Stanford’s Marks must carry proper trademark designations, as established by the Office of the General Counsel and specified on the Trademark Licensing website. This includes ® on registered marks and TM on unregistered Marks when required.
       
    4. Stanford’s Marks may never be altered or combined with another organization’s name or logo without permission from Stanford’s President, Provost or other individual with delegated authority under Section 2, above.

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4. Prohibited Use of Marks

The following uses of Stanford’s Marks are not permitted, except as otherwise authorized by (a) this policy, (b) the Name Use Guidelines, (c) other published guidelines or (d) Stanford’s President, Provost or other individual with delegated authority under Section 2, above:

  1. By non-Stanford individuals and entities. This includes, but is not limited to, vendors, technology licensees, research funders, donors, industrial affiliate program members, collaborators, partners and guest speakers.
     
  2. In a manner that endorses or implies endorsement of (a) a non-Stanford entity, or (b) the programs, products or services of a non-Stanford entity.
     
  3. By faculty, staff, students, alumni or others in association with any commercial activity or outside venture.
     
  4. In situations which will negatively impact Stanford’s reputation, or which may have the potential to impact negatively Stanford’s reputation. Such situations include, but are not limited to, use of Marks in connection with materials which (i) violate any law or regulation, (ii) have the potential to offend a person or group on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability or sexual orientation, (iii) could be considered to be pornographic, or (iv) could be considered to be defamatory.
     
  5. In connection with partisan political activities. See Administrative Guide Memo 1.5.1: Political, Campaign and Lobbying Activities.

Involvement by individual faculty, staff, students, or alumni in a non-Stanford activity is not a sufficient basis for indicating University sponsorship or endorsement and Marks may not be used in connection with such activities.

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5. Trademark Licensing Program

All merchandise bearing any Marks must be produced by a licensed vendor and be approved by Stanford’s Trademark Licensing Office. The Trademark Licensing Office will issue or approve all licenses, issue guidelines governing the production, sale and other distribution of licensed merchandise, and manage Stanford’s trademark licensing program. All merchandise produced for sale (including items that are sold to cover the cost of production) will be royalty-bearing at the rate established by the Trademark Licensing Office. Only items that are produced for internal use by Stanford, and are not offered for re-sale, are not royalty-bearing. Net proceeds from Stanford’s trademark licensing program royalties are used to support undergraduate financial aid and the Department of Athletics and Physical Education. 

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6. Registrations

  1. Domain Names: Domain names that incorporate the words "Stanford" or "Cardinal" may only be registered in the name of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and may only be used in connection with activities that are officially sponsored or sanctioned by Stanford. 
     
  2. Marks: Trademarks for the University may only be registered in the name of The Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University and may only be used in connection with activities that are officially sponsored or sanctioned by Stanford. The Office of the General Counsel is responsible for registration of all trademarks for the University.     

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7. Enforcement of Rights

The University will actively protect its Marks from improper or misleading use by individuals or organizations not associated with Stanford and will ensure that use of Marks by Stanford faculty, students, staff, alumni, schools, departments, institutes, centers and programs conforms to all applicable policies and guidelines. The Office of the General Counsel is responsible for enforcement of Stanford's Marks.

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8. Further Information

Additional information can be found by contacting the offices listed below:

  • Questions about use of Stanford’s Marks on merchandise or about Stanford’s Trademark Licensing Program should be directed to the Trademark Licensing Office at trademarks@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about use of Stanford’s Marks by vendors, business partners, research and other sponsors, industrial affiliates, foundations and other non-Stanford enterprises should be directed to the Trademark Licensing Office at trademarks@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about use of Stanford’s Marks in connection with Stanford’s educational and research activities should be directed to the Office of the Provost at provost@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about use of Stanford’s Marks for promotional or marketing purposes, in the media, or in digital communications, should be directed to University Communications at brandmanager@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about use of Stanford’s Marks by donors should be directed to the Office of Development at giving.to.stanford@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about use of Stanford Medicine emblems and branding should be directed to the Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine at sombranding@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about use of Stanford Health Care emblems and branding should be directed to brand@stanfordhealthcare.org.
  • Questions about use of Stanford Children’s Health emblems and branding should be directed to marketing@stanfordchildrens.org, and additional information can be found online: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/about/brand.
  • Questions concerning registration of internet domain names should be directed to Web Communications at webcom@stanford.edu.
  • Questions about trademark registrations and enforcement of Stanford’s Marks should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel at trademarkenforcement@stanford.edu.

All other questions about use of Stanford's Marks should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer at trademarks@stanford.edu, which will help identify the correct person or office.

Misuse of Stanford’s Marks by non-Stanford entities should be reported to the Office of the General Counsel at trademarkenforcement@stanford.edu.

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The following policies and resources include related information:

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