FAQ About Using MIT's Name

What are some appropriate uses of MIT’s name?
Why do I need permission to use the term MIT in the naming of my activity?
Where can I get permission to film, videotape or take pictures on MIT property?
Daily/Weekly News Media?
Vendors and Professional Firms?
Political Activities?
Private Sponsors of Institute Research?
What about names of web sites and other electronic uses?
Links or References to Outside Companies on MIT websites?

Joint Educational or Research Programs?
Use of Name Requests for Joint Programs?
Certificates used in connection with Joint Programs?
How does a member of the MIT community obtain permission to use the MIT Logo?
Does an MIT student group need permission to produce items bearing the MIT name and/or insignias?
How do I go about producing a new logo for my MIT department, unit, or student group?
What are the appropriate uses of the MIT seal?
What should I do if I see an item that appears to use the MIT name or trademarks improperly?

 


What are some appropriate uses of MIT’s name?

Nothing in the MIT Use of Names Policy or in the related rules and guidelines is intended to discourage fair use of MIT’s name to comment on activities of the Institute or any of its schools, departments or programs. In addition, this policy in no way limits the use of MIT’s name for official Institute purposes such as: (a) stationery, business cards, and other materials used in the ordinary course of Institute business; (b) official publications of the Institute (e.g. catalogues and related materials of the Institute and its various schools, departments, etc.); (c) use of MIT’s name and marks on MIT web pages in accordance with MIT policies; (d) journals in printed or digital form published by the Institute where the Institute or school or department retains sole editorial control; or (e) materials prepared specifically for use in connection with courses conducted at the Institute.

Questions regarding how to use MIT's marks for official Institute purposes should be directed to Communications Initiatives at ci@mit.edu or 617-258-9380.

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Why do I need permission to use the term MIT in the naming of my activity?

MIT is internationally known for excellence in teaching, learning, research, science and other activities.  The widely recognized MIT name and its associated seals, marks, symbols, logos, and photographic images (together referred to as “name and marks”) represent the high caliber of MIT’s faculty and students and convey the quality and breadth of MIT’s accomplishments.  MIT’s name and marks are among MIT’s most valuable assets.  Faculty, students and staff share in the benefits associated with MIT’s name and marks, and therefore also share responsibilities concerning their use.

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Where can I get permission to film, videotape or take pictures on MIT property?

MIT attempts to cooperate with those who wish to film, photograph or video tape on campus provided that such filming, photography or videotaping does not interfere with the educational, scholarly or administrative functions of the Institute.  Permission to film, photograph or video tape on campus must be obtained from the Technology Licensing Office and the MIT News OfficePermission will often be limited to pictures of the exterior of the buildings or facilities. Generally, filming, photography or videotaping that is intended for educational or public affairs use will be permitted (subject to logistical and security concerns), while filming, photography or videotaping for commercial or entertainment use will be subject to greater scrutiny. MIT reserves the right to restrict or deny use of the campus locations if such use might be harmful to the reputation of MIT or its educational purposes.

For more information, and specific information on how to obtain permission to film, photograph or video tape on campus, please contact the TLO directly.

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Daily/Weekly News Media?

The Institute recognizes that those professionals who are working on short deadlines, e.g. television news and current affairs crews, and still photographers working for daily newspapers and weekly magazines, need a quick response to a request to film or photograph.  Access to MIT’s campus for filming, photograph or videotaping by the daily or weekly news media will be at the discretion of the MIT News Office. In reviewing any request, several factors will be considered including: the level of potential disruption to students, faculty and staff; the expense, inconvenience or potential damage to the property of the Institute; and the potential for misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the university’s association with the project.

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Vendors and Professional Firms?

Professional firms and vendors wishing to include MIT’s name in a list of clients must obtain prior written consent from the TLO. Such lists should be sufficiently long and general so that they do not imply any special endorsement from MIT.

Notwithstanding the above, it is standard practice in the construction industry for contractors to send out press releases to industry journals when they land a big contract.  All requests for such press releases by architects, contractors and subcontractors on building and landscape projects should be sent to MIT Facilities for review.  All proposed press releases will be reviewed using a list of criteria, including but not limited to confirming that all facts are stated correctly and that no MIT endorsement is implied. If the MIT Program Manager approves the press release, he or she will submit it to the TLO for final approval.

Contractors who wish to print the MIT logo on t-shirts, jackets, hats or other articles of clothing for use by employees working on the MIT job site should make those requests through the project manager, who will then submit the request to the TLO.

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Political Activities?

In keeping with its status as a non-profit, educational institution, MIT does not permit its name and marks to be used in connection with partisan political activities.

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Private Sponsors of Institute Research?

Private sponsors of research may not use MIT’s name without prior written consent.  MIT does not issue press releases at the beginning of research projects, with few exceptions, and MIT does not allow private sponsors to issue press releases about MIT research programs or other activities except in rare instances. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a media relations office at MIT, such as the MIT News Office, the MIT Sloan Media Relations Office, the Broad Institute, or a school’s or department’s communications officer wishes to issue a press release in conjunction with the sponsor, such press releases are generally allowed subject to review. When such an exception is granted, the text of the press release must be approved in advance by the Technology Licensing Office. The TLO will review the press release to determine if the relationship between the sponsor and MIT is accurately portrayed and to confirm that the endorsement of the Sponsor or its products or services is not stated or implied.

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What about names of web sites and other electronic uses?

No faculty, staff, alumnus, other volunteer or student may register a domain name that incorporates the name "MIT" except in accordance with university approved policies. Domain name registrations incorporating the name "MIT" are the property of the Institute and must be registered as such. Use of the name "MIT" in any commercial website is prohibited.

With rare exception, the text of MIT websites may not include the names and marks of outside organizations or corporations anywhere other than the acknowledgements page of the website. When such names or marks are included, they must be standard (i.e. not customized) and must be clearly identified as acknowledgements. Such names and/or marks should link only to the home page of the outside organization or corporation.

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Links or References to Outside Companies on MIT websites?

With rare exception, the text of MIT websites may not include the names and marks of outside organizations or corporations anywhere other than the acknowledgements page of the website. When such names or marks are included, they must be standard (i.e. not customized) and must be clearly identified as acknowledgements. Such names and/or marks should link only to the home page of the outside organization or corporation. 

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Joint Educational or Research Programs?

MIT faculty or administrators who become associated with or involved in the educational or research programs of other institutions must exercise extreme care with respect to the use of MIT names and marks in connection with these programs. These situations include those in which MIT as an institution enters into agreement for joint educational or research programs (including international programs), as well as programs for which MIT agrees to provide educational assistance including the exchange of faculty, course materials and students. In particular, use of MIT’s name must be limited in such a manner that no inappropriate or inaccurate MIT oversight or responsibility of the particular program is implied by the use of the MIT name.

Use of MIT’s name and/or marks in advertising, web sites and any other promotional material of educational organizations or joint programs require express written approval from the Technology Licensing Office.

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Use of Name Requests for Joint Programs?

Requests for use of name should refer to the specific name of the school, department, lab, center or program involved with the outside program rather than to MIT or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a whole. This is to prevent the implication that MIT has entered into a broad, Institute-wide collaboration or alliance with another organization when no such relationship exists and when MIT, as an institution, is not creating, running, administering or overseeing such a collaborative program.

  • Approval to use the MIT logo or iconic photographic images of the Institute in connection with such joint programs is rarely granted.
  • Any use of name requests should not include any statements that might imply that MIT is accountable for the actions, statements, or the quality of education or research of external organizations.
  • Any use of name requests should first go to the responsible authority for the unit involved with the program and that unit-level approval should accompany any requests sent to the TLO.

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Certificates used in connection with Joint Programs?

  • A program with certificates issued by another institution must meet the following conditions in order that MIT’s name be included on the certificate:
    • MIT faculty must have played a major role in designing the program;
    • MIT must play an ongoing role in overseeing and reviewing the program to assure content and quality; and
    • MIT must have sole control over whether or not certificates are awarded and must have the right to terminate at any time at its sole discretion the issuance of any such certificates.
  • If these criteria are met and permission given, certificates should adhere to the following guidelines:
    • Certificates should be accurate, factual and specific.
    • When a program is centered in a single unit (i.e. the School, Department, Lab/Center, or Program), then the certificate should clearly indicate that it originates in the unit, not from MIT as a whole.
    • MIT must approve all aspects of the appearance of the certificate including wording, layout, typeface, size, and content of the certificate.
    • The appearance of the certificate (e.g. size and layout of the MIT name and/or logo) should be commensurate with the role of MIT in the activity being certified.
    • If the agreement calls for the use of an MIT logo, it should be the logo of the school, department, lab or program involved in the collaboration, provided that such a logo has been created.
    • The MIT (or School/Dept.) logo should be smaller than that of the certifying institution’s logo and should not be placed prominently at the top of the certificate but should instead be placed on the certificate near the name(s) of the signing faculty member(s) or MIT staff member(s).
  • The language regarding certificates in the agreement that establishes the program should be specific and conform to these guidelines.
  • The language regarding certificates in the agreement, as well as the certificates themselves, must be approved by the appropriate department or school administrative office and approved by the appropriate Dean as well as by the Provost.
  • The certificates themselves must be approved by the appropriate department or school administrative office and approved by the appropriate Dean as well as by the Provost.

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How does a member of the MIT community obtain permission to use the MIT Logo?

Within the MIT community, use of the MIT logo should be directed to MIT’s Communications Initiatives.

Permission to use the MIT logo is rarely granted to those who are not in the MIT community. All inquiries should be addressed to the TLO.

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Does an MIT student group need permission to produce items bearing the MIT name and/or insignias?

Student and alumni groups that have official MIT or MIT Alumni Association recognition, and are registered as such, may use the MIT name in association with their Institute-sanctioned activities. Use of outside vendors to produce goods bearing the MIT name and/or insignias must be approved the TLO.

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How do I go about producing a new logo for my MIT department, unit, or student group?

Please refer to:

http://web.mit.edu/tlo/www/community/use_of_name_faq.html#howlogo

To find out whether a sub-brand would be appropriate for your department or program, contact Communications Initiatives at ci@mit.edu or 617-258-9380

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What are the appropriate uses of the MIT seal?

Unlike the MIT Logo, the MIT Seal should be used sparingly. The primary purpose of the MIT Seal is to certify official Institute documents, including diplomas, certificates, and official acts by the President or Provost, and to graphically symbolize official association with the Institute and its educational and research missions. The Seal should not be modified, cut off, or combined with other forms. Final authority for the use of the MIT Seal resides in the Technology Licensing Office and the President’s Office.

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What should I do if I see an item that appears to use the MIT name or trademarks improperly?

Please contact the Technology Licensing Office at 617-253-6966 or tlo-uon@mit.edu.

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