The Brown University name and logo are registered trademarks of Brown University. The Brown Name Use Policy outlines rules for the use of the institution's name and likeness for the internal campus community and external individuals and organizations.  

Brown University Name Use Policy

The Brown University name and associated marks cannot be used in any way to imply endorsement of unaffiliated organizations.

Both in keeping with Brown's educational mission, and also as a non-profit, private institution of higher education, the University is limited in the activities it can engage in on behalf of commercial or for-profit entities or enterprises. Members of the Brown faculty or staff cannot endorse or advocate for non-affiliated, for-profit businesses or operations in the context of Brown's non-profit academic and administrative operations. 

All non-Brown entities — including but not limited to commercial firms, vendors, contractors, marketing professionals, institutions and service providers not affiliated with Brown University — must adhere to Brown's guidelines to include references to the institution or its likeness in information intended for electronic or printed publication or dissemination. 

Brown University must approve in advance the use of its name in all third-party marketing materials including, but not limited to, press releases, brochures, videos and websites, as outlined in the standards below. Reproduction or dissemination of news produced by Brown does not require approval if done so within the parameters outlined in this policy.

This policy outlines standards for:

  • Photography/Publishing Rights and Permissions
  • Marketing for External Groups Using Brown Facilities
  • Reproduction and Dissemination of Brown News

For information motion or still photography, see the Commercial Filming and Photography Policy.

Contact the Marketing Communications team in the Office of University Communications with all name-use and still and motion photography requests falling within this policy by phone at 401-863-3026 or by email.

Photography/Publishing Rights and Permissions

This provision applies to non-Brown entities. Such entities cannot refer to Brown University — by name or by representation through its logo or still or motion images — in any mass marketing materials without express written approval of Brown University specific to the use. (References to "Brown" or "University" for the purposes of these policy guidelines refer to Brown University in Providence, RI.)

  1. Entities desiring to use the trademarked Brown University name or images in any online, print or other media can refer to the relationship with the University only in a specific and factual manner, and must follow the University's standard photography guidelines for image use.
  2. Entities cannot use the Brown University logo, place mention of the University prominently on their website, nor can they refer to the entity known as Brown University in any mass marketing materials without express written approval. If Brown is included in Web references, the University should not be exclusively featured without written consent. However, the University can be included in a client list, as specified in #4 below.
  3. When mentioning Brown, and upon receiving approval, entities must refer to the specific project or relationship with the University. For example, it would be acceptable for materials to state, "Smith Co. has designed John Doe dorm for the Facilities Department at Brown University," "Smith Co. Supplies Parts to Brown University," or "Smith Co. worked with Brown's Facilities Department." It would NOT be acceptable to state, "Brown University teams up with Smith," "Brown University has partnered with Smith," or "Brown University uses Smith." This applies especially in cases in which the relationship is for a department-specific, rather than University-wide project. When the University is referenced, Brown cannot be mentioned first in the sentence, headlines or section headers (see examples above).
  4. Other than a listing of the University’s name in a client list, Brown University must review and approve any copy — print or digital — that mentions Brown University (including body content, headlines and captions) before it proceeds to any new or further publication.
  5. Third-party entities requesting to use the Brown University name or likeness must agree in writing to adhere to these guidelines.
  6. Photographers – or their contract employers – wishing to capture images of the University for promotional or publicity purposes must also receive in writing from the University explicit agreement for the intended use. Permission to capture images does not constitute approval of their eventual use, which is subject to review by Brown. The use of any still or motion photographs is bound by the agreement reached for the approved particular print or digital project.
  7. The following images are not allowed in any third-party marketing materials (Other images may be captured, or Brown can provide general campus photography that is fair use upon request):
    1. Photos or visual representations of iconic symbols of Brown University, including the Van Wickle Gates, University Hall, and any images that include the University logo, coat of arms, or seal.
    2. Photos of the interior or exterior of any University library. This includes the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Sciences Library, Orwig Music Library, Art Slide Library, John Hay Library, Demography Library, Ann Mary Brown Library, Library Collection Annex, John Carter Brown Library, and John Nicholas Brown Center.
    3. Photos including people at Brown should not include anyone that is identifiable without Brown’s written permission.

Marketing for External Groups Using Brown Facilities

This policy outlines requirements for non-University organizations that wish to market events taking place at Brown. Adherence to these guidelines will expedite the approval process. 

  1. All materials for groups hosting programs at Brown must adhere to laws and statutes governing copyrights and trademarks.
  2. Marketing materials should make it clear that your organization is the sponsor of the event. Therefore, the hosting organization’s logo and/or group name should be prevalent throughout the materials. References to Brown should generally indicate the event is happening at Brown.
  3. The sponsoring organization’s contact information should be prevalent in all marketing materials. Brown’s contact information should generally not be included in materials.
  4. Links and references to Brown University website(s) should be used only to inform readers about the campus or area where the event will be taking place (i.e. driving directions, general information, etc.). They should not be a key source of information for the organization’s event.
  5. Language and/or titles that are similar to pre-existing Brown University entities or events are generally not allowed.
  6. The Brown University logo, coat of arms, and seal should not be used unless expressed written permission is given from Brown’s Office of University Event and Conference Services.
  7. Visual images of Brown should not be the central focus of the hosting organization’s marketing materials. The content and purpose of the organization’s event or meeting should remain the focus throughout the marketing materials — not the location where the event is taking place. The following images are not allowed in any marketing materials (Brown can provide some general campus photography that is fair use upon request):
    1. Photos or visual representations of iconic symbols of Brown University, including the Van Wickle Gates, University Hall, and any images that include the University logo, coat of arms, or seal.
    2. Photos of the interior or exterior of any University library. This includes the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Sciences Library, Orwig Music Library, Art Slide Library, John Hay Library, Demography Library, Ann Mary Brown Library, Library Collection Annex, John Carter Brown Library, and John Nicholas Brown Center.
    3. Photos including people at Brown should not include anyone that is identifiable without Brown’s written permission.
  8. All photo and video shoots at Brown University must be approved prior to groups coming to campus.

Organizations in the process of developing marketing materials should contact the assigned Brown University Event Manager, or contact the general office at (401) 863-3100.

Reproduction and Dissemination of Brown News

Brown University encourages news organizations and not-for-profit entities to reproduce and disseminate news content created by Brown University, provided that the appropriate credit accompanies the use of text or images.

This includes news media organizations, schools and educational institutions, foundations and grant-making agencies, governmental organizations and civic groups, among other non-commercial entities.

These organizations may link to or copy full versions or substantive excerpts of Brown news stories or video for news, research or educational purposes, including credit as instructed below.

  • When the author's byline is embedded in the story or copied as part of the reproduced content, the following credit or caption should appear with the story: "Courtesy of Brown University" (credit) or "Brown University" (caption).
  • When a byline is removed from the story, the following credit should appear with the reproduced content: "[Name of author], Brown University."

Commercial, entertainment or business entities seeking to reproduce Brown University material must contact the Office of University Communications. Email media_relations@brown.edu.