Washington University in St. Louis is chartered by the State of Missouri to function as a private nonprofit teaching and research institution.
As such the university has taken steps to protect its intellectual properties and identities in both the United States and in other countries. The name, nicknames, logos and symbols of the university are protected trademarks and may not be used without the written permission of the university.
The university is authorized by the United States government through the Internal Revenue Service to conduct business as a 501(c)(3) enterprise so that it can receive gifts. As such the use of the university’s name or identities to raise gift funds other than those raised through the designated University Advancement programs requires official written authorization.
In addition to fundraising, the university also requires official written authorization for the incorporation of clubs, support groups and other such units that would appear to operate on behalf of the university. This would include the collection of dues, fees and other charges that could appear to be related to or sanctioned by Washington University.
Organizations seeking the use of the university’s identity and nonprofit status for fundraising and other purposes should contact the Trademark Licensing Office. The Trademark Licensing Office works closely with University Advancement, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor & General Counsel, University Marketing & Communications, and the other permission-granting units of the university. Entities seeking authorization to organize in the name of Washington University in other countries or within the United States should consult with the appropriate authorizing offices through the Trademark Licensing Office.
The laws governing trademarks and nonprofit status are complex and may require extensive legal review in addition to consultation with the appropriate university offices.
To contact the Trademark Licensing Office:
Trademark Licensing Office
Washington University in St. Louis
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
Updated September 2021