Using MIT's name

MIT’s TLO is responsible for coordinating, reviewing and approving Use of Name requests at MIT, pursuant to Section 12.3 of MIT’s Policies and Procedures, Use of Institute Names and Marks.

MIT's name and marks may be used only in connection with activities that meet high standards and are consistent with the Institute's educational, research and related purposes.  Whether a use is proper often turns on the specific facts of the case. The TLO will work with individuals and organizations on a case-by-case basis, and any use of MIT’s name requires prior written authorization.

All questions should be addressed to the TLO directly at 617-253-6966 or tlo-uon@mit.edu.

All faculty and staff members should assume responsibility for preventing misuse of the Institute’s name and marks. In teaching, research and other academic activities of the Institute, MIT's name and marks may be used, subject to the normal review processes established within schools, departments, centers and programs. However, when a faculty or staff member is involved in activities not directly associated with MIT (e.g., independent consulting, other business activities, publications, etc.), use of MIT's name and marks is limited to identification of the individual by his or her affiliation (e.g., Jane Smith, Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Faculty members and others engaged in activities involving business relationships with third parties may contact the TLO for information and assistance on name use issues.

Misuse may arise from consulting activities, in public reports made by individuals, or through failure to abide by MIT's restrictions governing the use of results obtained during research or investigations on behalf of commercial firms. For this reason any press conferences or public announcements should be coordinated with the MIT News Office and the TLO.

It is also important that faculty and staff members not allow their own names to be used in ways that state or imply Institute endorsement in connection with project or product promotions.  It should be understood clearly that opinions expressed by a faculty or staff member in preparing a report or paper under a consulting agreement or personal service contract are the opinions of the individual and not an official position of the Institute.  Use of the Institute letterhead or address or other identification that might associate the conclusion of the report with the Institute should be avoided.

Students and alumni may not use MIT’s name and marks in association with any commercial activity or outside venture without written permission, except to identify themselves (i.e. Jane Doe is a student at MIT or Jane Doe is an alumnus of MIT). In so using the MIT name to identify themselves in connection with commercial activities conducted with outside individuals or entities, students and alumni should assure that the MIT name is used in such a manner that does not imply Institute endorsement or responsibility for the particular activity involved.

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.

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:

  1. stationery, business cards, and other materials used in the ordinary course of Institute business
  2. official publications of the Institute (e.g. catalogues and related materials of the Institute and its various schools, departments, etc.)
  3. use of MIT’s name and marks on MIT web pages in accordance with MIT policies
  4. journals in printed or digital form published by the Institute where the Institute or school or department retains sole editorial control
  5. 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.

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.

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 Office. Permission 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Please refer to TLO's Use of Name documentation 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.

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.

If you see an item that appears to use the MIT name or trademarks improperly, please contact us at 617-253-6966 or tlo-uon@mit.edu