Administrative Policies

AD07 Use of University Name, Symbols and/or Graphic Devices

Policy Status: 

New

Subject Matter Expert: 

David Gray, 814-865-6574, djg36@psu.edu

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Administration

CONTENTS

  1. Ownership and Appropriate Use
  2. Authority for Approval of Use
  3. Statements of Endorsements
  4. Employee Use of University Indicia Outside the Scope of Employment
  5. Design Standards
  6. Licensed Vendors

PURPOSE

To clarify the permissible use, and the restrictions on such use, of The Pennsylvania State University’s (“University”) names, trademarks, symbols, logos and graphic devices (hereinafter referred to as “Indicia”).

DEFINITIONS

“Person” includes any person, partnership, corporation or other entity.

“University Parties” include University programs, divisions, organizations, units as well as faculty and staff when acting within the official scope of their employment.

“University Indicia” means the names, trademarks, symbols, logos and graphic devices of the University  including, but not limited to, “The Pennsylvania State University”, “Penn State”, “PSU”, the Penn State shield logo (the “Academic Mark”), the Nittany Lion Head logo (the “Athletic Mark”), the University’s official seal, the Paw mark, the Nittany Lion (name, mascot and graphic representations thereof), the Nittany Lion Shrine and graphical representations thereof, the Nittany Lion Inn, and the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center.  For a more complete listing of University Indicia, please visit the Licensing Office website at https://licensing.psu.edu.

SCOPE

This Policy shall apply to any Person using or seeking to use University Indicia, including University Parties and University affiliates such as Penn State Health and the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

POLICY

The University’s Indicia are a direct reflection of the University.  Thus, this Policy seeks to protect the University’s name and reputation by regulating the use of University Indicia to prevent uses that are not supportive of the University’s mission or values and protect the University from the liability of misrepresentation.

Ownership and Appropriate Use

The University is the owner of a number of trademarks, many of which are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Pennsylvania Department of State as well as certain international jurisdictions.  All of these marks, as well as other names, logos, and other symbols that represent the University or its entities, whether or not registered, are the property of the University.   

Use of University Indicia can only be used in connection with activities that meet the University’s standards and support the University’s mission.  Attaching University Indicia to an event, project or publication implies a close connection with the University.  Therefore, there must be a sufficient level of University involvement in the event, product, or service to utilize any University Indicia.   

Faculty are not required to obtain approval for use of the University’s Name and Academic Mark in connection with University teaching, research, and service, that is within the scope of their employment, or in an academic presentation.   

Approval for use of University Indicia is required in the following circumstances: 1) commercial uses (including promotional use); 2) branding and marketing of the University (as set forth in AD 61, University Marketing and Communications); 3) use by a non-University party; 4) use in relation to material that is developed or prepared by a non-University party; 5) use that may create ambiguity or confusion about University endorsement or responsibility; and 6) use that may create, or in relation to, an individual or institutional conflict of interest (as described in AD 77, Engaging in Outside Professional Activities; AD 83, Institutional Financial Conflict of Interest; HR 91, Conflict of Interest; and RP 06, Disclosure and Management of Significant Financial Interests).

Authority for Approval of Use

Where approval to use University Indicia is required, written permission must be obtained from the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer or by the office or unit listed below:

  • For uses in connection with educational and research activities (except as noted above for faculty use), approval must be obtained from the Executive Vice President and Provost.  The Provost will consult with the Vice President for Research with regard to uses relating to research activities. 
  • For uses relating to the branding and marketing of the University, or uses in film and videos, including filming and photography on campus by external entities, approval must be obtained from the Vice President of Strategic Communications.  The Vice President of Strategic Communications will consult with the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer (and the Office of General Counsel and Office of Risk Management as appropriate) prior to approving use of University Indicia for any co-branding efforts. 
  • For uses in connection with Penn State Health, approval must be obtained from the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs.  The Senior Vice President for Health Affairs will consult with the Vice President for Strategic Communications with regard to uses relating to branding and marketing.
  • For commercial uses (including promotional use), approval must be obtained from the Office of Licensing Programs and may include review by the University Licensing Committee (“ULC”) or the Office of Strategic Communications. 
  • For uses by University recognized student organizations (that are not already addressed by the aforementioned categories of use), approval must be obtained by the Vice President for Student Affairs.  Student organizations must be recognized by the University to obtain approval. 

All approvals of use of University Indicia are provided on a one-time basis. Any subsequent use of University Indicia must be resubmitted for review to the appropriate approval authority, as set forth above.

Statements of Endorsement

Statements of endorsement necessarily involve use of University Indicia.  Therefore, statements of endorsement by University Parties of a non-University organization, product, service, or activity (including, but without limitation, the use of the University’s name on a vendor’s customer list) are generally not permitted.  Any statement of endorsement by University Parties must be approved by the Vice President for Strategic Communications in consultation with the appropriate approval authority listed above.

Employee Use of University Indicia Outside the Scope of Employment

Use of University Indicia by employees for activities or purposes not directly associated with the University (e.g., external consulting or commercial activities) is prohibited.  However, employees may use University Indicia for purposes of identifying themselves (e.g., Jane Doe, Professor of Mathematics, The Pennsylvania State University) in a manner that is accurate and does not suggest or imply University endorsement or responsibility.  Employees should use, and the University may require, a disclaimer where use of University Indicia for purposes of identification and affiliation may be misleading or create confusion or ambiguity.  For more information on external activities, please see University Policy AC 80, “Private Consulting Practice”.     

Design Standards

All uses of University Indicia must comply with University visual identity design standards, available at http://visualidentity.psu.edu/.  University Indicia may not be modified or altered without prior written approval by the Office of Strategic Communications. 

Licensed Vendors

Any approved use of University Indicia on products or merchandise (including products used internally by the University) must be manufactured by a licensed vendor.  For a list of approved licensed vendors, please visit http://www.clc.com/Licensing-Info/Client-License-List.aspx

FURTHER INFORMATION

For questions regarding interpretation and application of this policy, please contact the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, the Vice President for Strategic Communications or the Vice President and General Counsel. 

CROSS REFERENCES

AC80 Private Consulting Practice

AD03 Conducting Educational Programs in the Name of the University

AD50 Contact with State and Federal Officials and Official Requests from Government Officials

AD61 University Marketing and Communications

AD77 Engaging in Outside Professional Activities (Conflict of Commitment)

AD83 Institutional Financial Conflict of Interest

HR35 Public Service and Political Endorsements by Members of the Faculty and Staff

HR91 Conflict of Interest

RP06 Disclosure and Management of Significant Financial Interests

RAG05 Establishing Research Institutes, Consortia, and Centers

Most recent changes:

  • October 23, 2018 - Substantial updates to the policy including edits to the Purpose and Policy sections; added the following sections: Definitions, Scope, Ownership and Appropriate Use, Authority for Approval of Use, Statements of Endorsements, Employee Use of University Indicia Outside the Scope of Employment, Design Standards, Licensed Vendors, Futher Information, and Cross References.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 15, 2006 - Revision History added.
  • September 12, 1997 - Updated Penn Stater reference.
  • September 25, 1998 - Position Titles updated.
  • August 19, 1991 - Policy has been revised to incorporate "graphic devices" as part of the policy.
  • April 29, 1983 - Major revisions to entire policy per Presidential, Universal Licensing Committee, and Board of Trustees approvals.

Date Approved: 

October 22, 2018

Date Published: 

October 23, 2018

Effective Date: 

October 22, 2018