Trademarks are words, logos, designs, or other marks used to identify the source of goods or services. Trademark rights accrue to an owner through use in commerce, and owners of marks used in interstate commerce can apply for trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Tufts University owns federal and international trademark registrations on the words TUFTS and TUFTS UNIVERSITY, on the university seal (with the descending dove), and on various marks specific to individual schools and units. The OTL&IC administers Tufts University’s trademark registrations.

Use of Tufts trademarks is governed by the “Policy on the Use of Tufts University Name and Insignias” at The Office of University Counsel coordinates all requests for use of the Tufts name and logos, with final decisions being made by the vice president for university relations. Requests for name use approvals may be sent to

Trade Secrets

A trade secret is proprietary information that gives rise to a competitive commercial advantage—the IP is protected by locking it away. Commercial enterprises that sponsor or are otherwise involved in university research may seek to protect their trade secrets with agreements requiring the maintenance of confidentiality. Universities will not generally enter into such agreements involving university research because of the resultant conflict with academic practice, which requires the free and open publication of university research.