Trademark Licensing Policy


The University has delegated the responsibility for maintaining, managing and licensing University trademarks to the Office of Trademark Licensing, which is a department within University Services. The Trademark Licensing Program has established procedures for licensing manufacturers to produce a variety of Princeton insignia merchandise. The Program also serves as a resource to University departments and officially recognized student groups when they wish to purchase or produce Princeton logo merchandise for Internal Use.

Princeton's registered trademarks include the names "PRINCETON UNIVERSITY", “PRINCETON”, the Seal, the Shield, the “Clio Tiger” design, the Social Media logo and the informal motto, “IN THE NATIONS SERVICE AND THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY”. Other marks include variations of these listed marks, as well as tigers, the block "P", buildings and any other mark(s) associated with the University.

Policy Statement

  1. No individual or entity, including without limitation, academic departments (including schools, programs, councils, centers and institutes), administrative units, independent or collaborative research projects, corporate or foundation partnerships, as well as recognized or non-recognized student clubs, organizations, student agencies or alumni groups, may apply for the registration of any trademarks that suggest a connection with Princeton University or any Princeton University organization, except to the extent such individual or entity has received written approval from the University, which may be withheld at the University’s sole discretion.  Any request for approval should be directed to the Associate Director for Trademark Licensing.  If the University approves such request, then the Office of Trademark Licensing will coordinate the application process on behalf of the University and The Trustees of Princeton University will maintain ownership of the trademark.  In the case of third-parties, in certain instances and where appropriate, the University may license the use of the trademark(s) on a limited basis.
  2. All manufacturers producing goods bearing any of Princeton University's trademarks for commercial purposes must be licensed to produce, market and/or sell these products. Vendors selling goods directly to Princeton University for Internal Use, or to an official student agency, should also be licensed.  A list of licensed vendors is available.
  3. The University offers the ability to manufacture a variety of products, through a trademark license, which include but are not limited to: apparel, bags and backpacks, blankets, key chains, clocks, jewelry, glassware and mugs, leather goods, and lamps. (Refer to the TML website for a more complete list of Proposed Licensed Products). If a potential product does not appear on this list, please contact the Office of Trademark Licensing to inquire about licensing this product.
  4. Among the products that the University does not license are items for official University business such as stationery, business cards, directories and items for official University ceremonies, food items, alcohol or tobacco-related items, healthcare products and toiletries, weapons, and items in bad taste. (Refer to the TML website for a list of Prohibited Items).
  5. An "®" indication must appear on all products bearing Princeton's registered marks and a "TM" on products containing any of Princeton's marks that are not yet registered.
  6. Licensees are required to enter into a trademark license agreement with Princeton University. Inquiries regarding Princeton’s terms should be directed to the Office of Trademark Licensing.
  7. Licensees are required to submit product samples and designs, using Princeton’s identity systems (Princeton Athletics/Spirit Identity and the core University Identity), for approval, prior to the production of any goods. Access to Princeton’s identity systems is limited only to approved trademark licensees.
  8. Language in advertising, promotional materials and websites must comply with the Guidelines for External Businesses Using the Princeton University Graphic Identity System and Motto.
  9. Princeton University restricts the use of images of the following campus buildings: Nassau Hall; Alexander Hall; Blair Hall (arch, tower and steps), FitzRandolph Gate and Lewis Library under the Restricted Imagery Policy.
  10. Princeton’s trademarks must not be used:
    • in any way that discriminates or implies discrimination against any persons or groups based on age, race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or disability or in any other way that would be a violation of Princeton’s non-discrimination policies or practices; and
    • in conjunction with the name or trademark(s) of any other entity without Princeton’s prior written permission. If Princeton grants permission to use both marks it is the responsibility of the licensee to obtain permission to use the marks of the other entity. In addition, the trademark(s) must be distinct and separate from each other and Princeton’s trademarks must not be overshadowed or diminished in any way in comparison to the other entity’s trademarks.
  11. Purchasing or Producing Princeton Insignia Merchandise for Internal Use

    Internal Use means “use for or by Princeton, its departments, offices, colleges, business units, academic units, student clubs or authorized student groups or organizations.” Merchandise purchased/produced for these groups imprinted with Princeton’s name, logos and marks may be exempt from paying royalties if the items:

    • will be given away (without charge); or

    • are for sale to the public, and are sold directly (not via a retailer) with all proceeds benefiting the University or authorized non-profit student group.

  12. To become eligible for the royalty exemption, contact the Associate Director for Trademark Licensing and state how the item will be used and the name of the company producing the item. Only licensed manufacturers may reproduce Princeton's name, logos and marks. If the company you have chosen is not licensed, the Office of Trademark Licensing will recommend a licensed company or may, at its discretion, license the company of your choice on a special, limited-term basis.
  13. This policy may be amended from time to time. 


Responsible Executive: Vice President for University Services

Responsible Office: Office of Trademark Licensing

Contact: Associate Director of Trademark Licensing

Effective Date: July 1, 2019