Trademark Protection

A primary function of the Trademark Program is the protection of Harvard’s trademarks worldwide, and toward that end the Trademark Program annually handles hundreds of cases involving the unauthorized use of the Harvard name and other University trademarks.

Since trademark law requires that trademark owners actively protect their marks, Harvard vigorously pursues and, if necessary, takes legal action against those using its trademarks without authorization. In further support of these efforts, the University, through the Trademark Program, owns numerous “Harvard” and related trademark registrations around the world; these cover educational, research, and medical activities, as well as other relevant goods and services.

Reports of unauthorized trademark use come from many sources including Harvard faculty, students, staff, alumni, and members of the public. The Trademark Program also uses attorneys throughout the world to report, monitor, and investigate potential cases of infringement in their respective countries, especially the unauthorized use of Harvard's trademarks in those fields most important to the University, such as education, research, and medicine. In addition, the Trademark Program contracts with companies that monitor domestic and international trademark offices for any unauthorized trademark applications and domain name registrations containing the “Harvard” name.

Related to its trademark protection duties, the Trademark Program assists Harvard schools, departments, and units with the development and protection of new trademarks.