university seal Editor's notes:

POLICY TITLE: Policy for Use of Carnegie Mellon Trademarks

DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was approved by the President's Council on April 14, 1998.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: Trademark Licensing Office. Questions on policy content should be directed to John Marano, licensing officer, x8-3904.

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this policy is to provide information and guidelines regarding the use of Carnegie Mellon's trademarks.

Policy for Use of Carnegie Mellon Trademarks

Policy Statement

In order to comply with and assure protection under federal trademark law, Title 15, U.S.C., section(s) 1051 et seq., Carnegie Mellon University is required to monitor all uses of its trademarks. Unauthorized use of Carnegie Mellon trademarks is subject to civil and criminal penalties.

The purpose of this policy is to provide information and guidelines to the university community regarding the use of Carnegie Mellon's trademarks. The overall purpose of the licensing program is to protect Carnegie Mellon University's trademarks and to promote the university.

This policy does not concern itself with patents or with use of trademarks licensed by the university Office of Innovation Transfer. Contact the Office of Innovation Transfer for such intellectual property issues. This policy also does not concern itself with the use of Carnegie Mellon University's trademarks on the Internet.

Who Should Use This Policy

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, academic departments, ad hoc groups, administrative divisions/departments, alumni organizations, informal groups and student organizations. Suppliers and manufacturers of commercial and non-commercial products should follow their licensing agreement with the university.


A trademark (including a service mark) includes any word, name, symbol or device, or a combination of them, used to associate goods (or services) with a particular entity and to distinguish them from the goods (or services) of others. A trademark may only be used by or with the consent of the owner thereof.

The university's trademarks include, but are not limited to: the words "Carnegie Mellon," "Carnegie Institute of Technology," "Carnegie Tech," "(The) Tartan(s)"; the Carnegie Mellon wordmark; the official seals of Carnegie Mellon University and Carnegie Institute of Technology; the Scottie Dog design when used in reference to Carnegie Mellon; and all current and future trademarks, service marks, wordmarks, designs or logos used by Carnegie Mellon.

Carnegie Mellon asserts ownership over its name and any other mark, logo, insignia, seal, crest, design, symbol or any combination of these that have come to be associated with Carnegie Mellon. For questions about whether or not something is a trademark, contact the Trademark Licensing Office.

registered trademarks
In 1989, Carnegie Mellon registered three of its marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office: the university's name, "CARNEGIE MELLON"; the CARNEGIE MELLON SEAL DESIGN; and the CARNEGIE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY SEAL DESIGN. Note: The acronym "CMU" is not a Carnegie Mellon University registered trademark. Also, words such as (THE) TARTAN(S), for example, are used by the university as trademarks but are not registered.

Licensing is the process of obtaining legal permission through a contract for the right to use someone's trademarks. An individual or company who enters into such an agreement is referred to as a licensee.

Suppliers include, but are not limited to: manufacturers, manufacturers' representatives, agents, wholesalers, distributors, printers, embroiderers and screenprinters.

Guidelines for Using Trademarks

Carnegie Mellon's trademarks are intended to present a positive image of the university.

The university's trademarks are not to be used in the name of a business, logo, in advertising services or on a product in a way that could state or imply an endorsement.

The university's trademarks are not to be used in any way that will discriminate against any persons or groups based on age, ancestry, belief, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status, or in any other way that would be a violation of the university's anti-discrimination policies.


The use of any Carnegie Mellon trademark by student organizations or groups or any third party (unless approved by the university Office of Innovation Transfer) must be approved in writing by the Trademark Licensing Office prior to production of each item. The use of the university's trademarks on consumer goods produced, ordered or sold by units of Carnegie Mellon must be approved in writing by the trademark licensing officer prior to production of each item. Items include, but are not limited to, brochures, binders, T-shirts, coffee mugs, tickets, balloons, uniforms, booths and exhibits.

Written approval is required from the Trademark Licensing Office for each specific use. Requests can be submitted via facsimile machine, at (412) 268-3571, or regular mail to the Trademark Licensing Office. Approval to use the design for one application, e.g., T-shirts, does not grant someone permission to change the design even slightly for reuse or to apply it to another item, such as a coffee mug, without seeking additional written approval from the Trademark Licensing Office.

Using a trademark on items such as letters or memos does not require permission from the Trademark Licensing Office. In addition, if an individual or department is working with University Relations to produce an item that contains a university trademark, e.g., business cards, they do not need to seek permission from the Trademark Licensing Office.

Carnegie Mellon reserves the right to approve or disapprove any use of the trademarks, even if not explicitly prohibited by this policy or these guidelines.

Product Approval Guidelines

The following products normally will not be approved by the Trademark Licensing Office:

Art Approval Guidelines

Certain art/designs will not be approved for use in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon's trademarks. These include the following:

Product and Art Approval Panel

The Trademark Licensing Office reserves the right to decline those products or art designs that do not promote the goodwill and international reputation of the university. Any appeals will be referred to the Product and Art Approval Panel, which will review them for their appropriateness to the vision and mission of the institution. The panel is composed of the vice president for business and planning and chief financial officer or his/her designee, the vice president for university relations or his/her designee, and the vice president for enrollment or his/her designee. The panel will announce their decision within 30 days from the date that they receive the appeal. Their decision is final.

The Trademark Licensing Office will refer any questionable or potentially controversial licensing requests to the Products and Art Approval Panel.


Individuals and suppliers who use Carnegie Mellon trademarks without permission from the Trademark Licensing Office are subject to actions including receiving a cease-and-desist notice, having merchandise confiscated and legal proceedings.

Class Projects

Any item/artwork/project produced as part of a course and which uses Carnegie Mellon's trademarks for non-commercial purposes does not require a license and is royalty exempt; however, for the purpose of monitoring use to assure protection of the trademark, the student or team leader is asked to notify the Trademark Licensing Office of the use of a trademark prior to the start of the project. The faculty member conducting the class is asked to direct the student to the Trademark Licensing Office.

Selecting Suppliers

The Trademark Licensing Office has established licensing agreements with a number of suppliers who provide a variety of products. Not all licensees are preferred suppliers and not all suppliers listed in the Preferred Supplier Directory are licensees. A complete list of all current licensees can be obtained by contacting the Trademark Licensing Office. Individuals or groups seeking a supplier should first review this list to determine if the required items may be obtained from one of the current licensees. If it is necessary to use a supplier that is not licensed, consult the Trademark Licensing Office.


Royalties are collected from a licensee for the use of Carnegie Mellon's trademarks. The net income from the licensing program benefits the overall mission of Carnegie Mellon; after expenses are covered, net income is used for the university's Education & General Operating (E&GO) budget.

Contact the Trademark Licensing Office for information on royalty-exempt products.


The Trademark Licensing Office

Established in 1994, the Trademark Licensing Office welcomes any questions you have regarding this policy or the proper use of Carnegie Mellon trademarks. Please contact John Marano at (412) 268-3904 or via email at

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