Intellectual Property

Overview

We work with the Office of Trademark Licensing to oversee the use of the University's official marks and images. Policies governing Princeton's trademarks and images are meant to clarify what constitutes official, authorized University business and activities. Use the University's shield and other trademarks symbolizes authority to conduct such activities on behalf of the institution.

Members of the University community — students, faculty and staff — may use these marks to convey affiliation with Princeton in accordance with its trademark policies. 

The University's trademark licensing program allows others to use official marks in limited ways. People and organizations who do business with the University must not imply general affiliation with the University other than to describe specifically which department, program or office engaged them. In no instance should people or businesses imply product or service endorsements by the University.

Protected Terms, Symbols & Images

The words "Princeton" and "Princeton University," as well as the University shield, are trademarks registered with the U.S. Trademark Office. The University also owns marks that are not registered. 

Marks

Faculty and staff must use the registration symbol ( ® ) for registered marks and the ™ symbol for marks that are not registered. Please consult the Office of Trademark Licensing to verify the proper use of symbols. Most materials used for official University business do not need symbols, however we recommend using them on all merchandise and specialty items, such as ceremonial banners, T-shirts and medals. 

All companies using Princeton's registered marks and trademarks must be licensed through the Office of Trademark Licensing.

    Restricted Images

    Images that show part of or all of our restricted buildings may not be used for any purpose other than University business, whether they are supplied by the University or taken independently. The restricted buildings are:

    • Nassau Hall
    • Alexander Hall
    • Blair Hall arch, steps and tower
    • FitzRandolph Gate
    • Lewis Library

    Copyright Notice

    All University-generated content must show a copyright notice indicating the year, for example:

    Copyright © 2018 by The Trustees of Princeton University

    Do not put this copyright notice on student-generated content.

    Guidelines for Businesses

    Using the Graphic Identity System

    The Princeton University graphic identity system consists of logos, trademarks, colors, typefaces, website tools, and examples of use that create a consistent image for the University and its communications, and includes the University’s name and shield. Requests to view the system can be submitted to the Office of Communications (609-258-3601) or the Office of Trademark Licensing (609-258- 3097). Elements of the system and the University’s motto can be used for internal and external purposes aligned with the University’s communications goals if the use complies with the following guidelines. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis pending approval of mock-ups by the Office of Communications.

    1. Use of the University’s graphic identity system and motto by external businesses must be approved by the Office of Communications or the Office of Trademark Licensing. Some projects (such as films) come directly to the Office of Communications for approval. Designs for commercial purposes must be submitted to the Office of Trademark Licensing. Other uses should be submitted to the Office of Communications. A coordinated response with any required modifications will be provided.

    2. Language in advertising, promotional materials and websites must not imply that an external business is part of, or affiliated with, the University. The name of the University and the name of the external business may not be used or aligned in a manner that implies that the external business is part of, or affiliated with, the University, even if the external business primarily serves a University constituency. Nor can the University name be used to imply promotion or support of a commercial business, service or product.

    3. The University’s shield and other elements of the system (including typefaces and colors) may not be used by external businesses except with the permission of the Office of Trademark Licensing on items for sale produced in accordance with the guidelines of the Office of Trademark Licensing.

    4. Advertising, promotional materials, websites or items produced by external businesses may not use restricted images — Nassau Hall, FitzRandolph Gate, Alexander Hall, Blair Hall (arch, tower and stairs), or Lewis Library— except by special permission of the Office of Communications or the Office of Trademark Licensing. Vendors or advertisers must send an inquiry to the Office of Communications or the Office of Trademark Licensing and include a mock-up of the proposed use.

    5. External businesses must not use the University seal.

    6. When using photos or artwork that represent University community members (students, faculty, administrators, etc.), external businesses should strive to accurately reflect the diversity of the University community.

    Download a printable PDF of the guidelines for using the graphic identity system.

    Publicizing a Relationship with Princeton

      People and organizations who do business with the University and want to use Princeton's name or images in any online, print or other media for promotional purposes must get approval from the University prior to publication. The University must review and approve any copy that mentions Princeton University and any University imagery (.pdf). Guidelines include:

      • Language in marketing and advertising materials must not imply that a business is part of, or affiliated with, the University, even if it primarily serves a University constituency. No business may imply that the University promotes, endorses or supports a commercial business, service or product. Outside vendors and partners must clearly state the unit within the University that retained their services and refer to the relationship with the University only in a specific and factual manner. For example, saying “BannerArt produced FluFest signs for the Office of Communications in 2017" is fine; but saying "BannerArt is proud to be Princeton University's banner company" would be disallowed.
      • Advertising, promotional materials, websites or items produced by businesses may not use Princeton's restricted images — Nassau Hall, FitzRandolph Gate, Alexander Hall, Blair Hall (arch, tower and stairs), or Lewis Library — except with the written permission of the Office of Communications or the Office of Trademark Licensing. Vendors or advertisers must include a mock-up of the proposed use with their request.
      • Materials should not feature the University exclusively as a reference or client, though they may include the University as part of a client list.
      • When using photos or artwork that represent University community members (students, faculty, administrators, etc.), external businesses should strive to accurately reflect the diversity of the University community.