152 Use of MTSU Names, Marks, and Trademarks
Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Marketing and Communications
Responsible Office: Marketing and Communications
Responsible Officer: Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) benefits from public recognition of, and exposure to, its names, symbols, logos, and other identifying marks. If properly used and managed, these marks ensure a unified visual presence that becomes synonymous with the quality of MTSU’s programs, products, and services, and distinguishes this University from other universities. These marks also help organize the University’s various colleges, programs, offices, departments, and services under the auspices of a single institution.
II. Usage of MTSU Marks
A. The MTSU wordmark, athletic symbols, mascot graphic, logomark (MT), True Blue representations, and the official seal are approved marks to represent the entire University. The Division of Marketing and Communications may create and recommend additional marks to represent the entire University, subject to approval by the President.
B. Usage of all branding, identity marks, phrases, and elements will follow guidelines and procedures established by the Division of Marketing and Communications.
1. Creation and usage of logos by colleges, departments, schools, centers, offices, and other individual academic units will follow guidelines and procedures established by the Division of Marketing and Communications.
2. All University stationery, notepads, memo sheets, business cards, and other similar materials, produced for official communications by colleges, departments, schools, centers, offices, and other individual academic units, shall by designed, developed, printed, or provided electronically by the Division of Marketing and Communications.
III. Ownership of Marks
A. MTSU owns and, through the Division of Marketing and Communications and the Athletics Marketing Office, controls all names, marks, logos (both academic and athletic), colors, insignias, seal, designs, registered phrases, commercially used depictions of campus buildings and landmarks, and symbols that have become commonly associated with the University or any of its campuses.
1. Authority over licensed trademarks may be delegated by the Division to the Athletics Marketing Office, and certain responsibilities may be delegated by the Division or Athletics to an outside entity selected by the University to manage the application for trademarks, the granting and oversight of licenses and licensees, approval of external uses, collection of royalties, and other functions.
2. Legal protection and enforcement of the University's rights in the marks falls under the Athletics Marketing Office, the Office of Compliance in Athletics, and the Office of the University Counsel, with certain responsibilities delegated to an outside entity selected by the University to manage such processes. Federal trademark law requires that trademark owners actively protect their marks to maintain the full benefit of registration.
3. Whenever possible, the University's registered marks must include the TM symbol or, when the mark is federally registered, the ® symbol.
B. The MTSU seal is for Board of Trustee or Presidential-level and formal documents. It is used on diplomas, legal documents, official announcements, and certificates and is not available for departmental, office, student, or other uses without review by the Secretary to the Board and approval by the President.
C. No one other than MTSU may claim copyright or trademark rights to University trademarks or seek to register any design that incorporates University trademarks.
IV. Guidelines and Procedures
The Division of Marketing and Communications will develop and maintain a branding/style book and other guidelines and procedures necessary for the creation, protection, and use of the MTSU wordmark, logos, colors, seal, insignias, and other official branding marks, phrases, and elements for MTSU.
The branding/style book and other guidelines will also address use and production of University stationery, notepads, memo sheets, business cards, and other similar materials produced for official communications by colleges, departments, schools, centers, offices, and other individual academic units.
V. Disallowed Use of Marks
A. MTSU trademarks may not be modified in any way, nor incorporated into the name or mark of another entity. Any exception must be reviewed, considered, and approved in writing by the Division of Marketing and Communications before permission may be granted. The Division of Marketing and Communications reserves the right to reject such proposals.
B. MTSU trademarks may not be used in any manner that suggests or implies the University’s endorsement of another organization, company, product, service, political party or view, or religious belief or view.
C. University trademarks cannot be used by private and/or corporate businesses in the sale of commercial products or advertising. A waiver to this prohibition may be granted only by the Division of Marketing and Communications or, in regard to the athletic marks, the Athletics Marketing Office.
D. University trademarks cannot be incorporated into off-campus business telephone numbers, internet addresses, or internet domain names.
E. The University will not license items that are in bad taste, promote gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco-related items, or weapons.
F. The University reserves the right to prohibit other uses it deems inappropriate or inconsistent with the image and mission of an educational institution.
VI. Commercial Use and Licensed Vendors
A. All manufacturers producing goods bearing any of MTSU's trademarks for commercial purposes must be licensed to produce, market, and/or sell these products.
B. Licensed vendors are required to submit product samples and designs for approval, prior to the production of any goods, to the Athletic Marketing Office.
C. Any use of the marks, with the intent to sell or profit from the item or use, including by internal MTSU offices, individuals, or programs, also requires the use of a licensed vendor.
D. Individuals seeking to produce an item for commercial use will submit their design, proof, or idea for review and approval by the Athletic Marketing Office prior to submitting the item for production by a licensed vendor.
E. Permission and use of a licensed vendor is also required for any external individual, organization, or company wishing to use the University’s name or trademarks, even in a non-commercial manner. Prior written approval for those uses is also required.
F. In instances where there is uncertainty regarding the appropriate commercial use of any MTSU logos, marks, or trademarks on items, the Division of Marketing and Communications, together with the Athletics Licensing Office representative, will determine the best course of action. A list of licensed vendors will be maintained by the Athletics Marketing Office.
VII. Non-Commercial Use
A. The use of a licensed vendor by internal MTSU individuals, offices, and programs, including officially recognized student organizations, for non-commercial use (giveaway items, for instance) is required.
B. Individuals, colleges, offices, programs, departments, centers, or others seeking to produce an item for non-commercial use will submit the design, proof, or idea for review and approval by the Division of Marketing and Communications prior to submitting the item for production by a licensed vendor.
C. In instances where there is uncertainty regarding the appropriate non-commercial use of any MTSU logos, marks, or trademarks, the Division of Marketing and Communications, in consultation with the Athletics Marketing Office, will determine the best course of action.
Last Reviewed: June 2017.