SIG Trademark Policy


Harvard University is increasingly concerned about the ways its name and symbols (or trademarks, such as “Harvard” and the "VERITAS shield") are being used by third parties. The Trademark Program is responsible for protecting the University’s trademarks around the world and for licensing their use by third parties. The University’s ability to both protect and control the use of its trademarks by others is enhanced because we have obtained, and are continuing to obtain, legal protection for many of Harvard’s trademarks worldwide. To the extent that the University can unify the ways its trademarks are used, the better its chances of being able to stop unauthorized third parties from using the Harvard trademarks in objectionable ways and in ways which trade on the University’s reputation. Shared Interest Groups can help with this effort by notifying the Trademark Program whenever its members become aware of any unauthorized uses of the Harvard name.

Since Shared Interest Groups are part of the Harvard University community, it is important that all Shared Interest Groups adhere to policies set forth by the University in regard to how Harvard trademarks may be used. Shared Interest Groups, like all other Harvard University units, need to comply with policies set forth in the “Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias” located on the Harvard Trademark Program’s webpage at In addition to what is set forth in the Trademark Program’s policy, the following rules apply to all Shared Interest Groups:

1. All Shared Interest Groups recognize that “Harvard,” “Harvard University,” “Harvard Alumni Association,” “VERITAS shield,” “HAA logo,” various other University School shields, and all other University trademarks are the sole property of the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Shared Interest Groups also recognize that “Harvard,” “VERITAS shield,” and “HAA logo” are trademarks used with the permission of the University.

2. Shared Interest Groups may not alter the Harvard Veritas shield or HAA logo. Newly created Veritas Shields or HAA logos incorporating a Shared Interest Group's name or logo are not permissible.

3. Shared Interest Groups may use the Harvard Graduate School shields to demonstrate their commitment to all University alumni. These shields must be used collectively and may not be altered. Newly created Graduate School shields incorporating a Shared Interest Group’s name or logo are not permissible.

4. All Shared Interest Groups understand they may only use the “Harvard,” “HAA logo,” “VERITAS shield,” and the collective Graduate School shields and that these trademarks may only be used to identify the group on signage, letterhead, business cards, and on some products (as defined below). Permission must be obtained from the Harvard Trademark Program in order to use these marks for any other purpose than as noted above or in order to use any University trademark other than those noted above. In general, activities of the groups should always be described as being undertaken by the group’s name and not by “Harvard” or “Harvard University.”

5. Registration of any of Harvard’s trademarks anywhere in the world can only be done with written permission of the Trademark Program and any such registration must be owned by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

6. Shared Interest Groups may sell insignia items (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) containing the SIG’s name in combination with the “VERITAS shield,” the “HAA logo”, or the collective Graduate School shields only to their members.

7. Shared Interest Groups may give away items bearing the SIG’s name in combination with the “HAA logo,” the “VERITAS shield,” or the collective Graduate School shields to donors or to group members.

8. Shared Interest Groups may not sell any items bearing any of the University’s trademarks, including items bearing “Harvard,” “HAA logo,” the “VERITAS shield,” or the collective Graduate School shields to the general public. 

9. Shared Interest Groups that wish to use their name on a publication must receive permission to do so from HAA before its production and, if given permission to proceed, must identify themselves as a “Harvard Alumni Association Shared Interest Group” on the cover of the publication.

In cases where a Shared Interest Group feels it has a situation that should be considered an exception to any of the above rules, please contact either the Harvard Trademark Program at (617) 495-9513 or or the Clubs and Shared Interest Groups Office at (800) 654-6494 or