Use of the Name When Acting In a Non-Johns Hopkins Capacity In Company Marketing Materials


Companies that engage faculty and staff in outside activities, such as consulting, may NOT use the Johns Hopkins name: if it could reasonably be viewed as endorsing or approving a commercial product.

This policy applies to all uses of Johns Hopkins Medicine names, entities and brand mark.

Appropriate use example
Background: Dr. Trust, an assistant professor of pathology, discovered a series of biomarkers for breast cancer. Johns Hopkins licensed her invention to a small start-up company that is developing a diagnostic tool for breast cancer. The company asked Dr. Trust to attend meetings with potential investors to describe her discovery and explain how it could be used in a diagnostic product.

Analysis: As the inventor, Dr. Trust has expertise that is of great value to the company in its effort to turn the technology into a medically useful product. Dr. Trust's role was to educate potential investors about the scientific basis for the company's product development plans.

Decision: The company was marketing itself to investors, hoping to convince them of its prospects for success. Dr. Trust's invention was one of many factors in the company's potential success or failure. Dr. Trust was told that as long as she informed the investors that she was speaking as a private individual and not as a representative of Johns Hopkins, she could meet with potential investors and cite her Johns Hopkins title and affiliation.

Inappropriate use example
The situation: Dr. Normal, a Johns Hopkins diabetologist, served on the scientific advisory board of GlucoBioCorp (GBC). Johns Hopkins Medicine staff become aware that the company's Web site contains laudatory quotes from Dr. Normal about its new glucose monitor; a canned news video-prepared by the company's PR firm and accessible via the company's and a local TV station's Web site-includes an interview with Dr. Normal; and the company's marketing slides, included on its Web site, have footage of Johns Hopkins' medical campus, including a Johns Hopkins sign and the dome. Dr. Normal was a paid member and chair of the GBC scientific advisory board.

Analysis: Dr. Normal had previously disclosed his outside relationship with GBC to the Dean's Office. Johns Hopkins-required revisions to Dr. Normal's consulting agreement prohibited participation in marketing and required that any use of Dr. Normal's name, title and affiliation be accompanied by a disclaimer of Johns Hopkins involvement.

Decision: After extensive debate with Dr. Normal and with GBC, the company removed the Johns Hopkins content from its marketing slides; asked the TV station to take the news video off its Web site; and removed the quote by Dr. Normal from its Web site. It was permitted to list Dr. Normal as chair of the scientific advisory board.

Inappropriate use example
The situation: Dr. Roland is an unpaid scientific advisor to Slim-eeze. He conducted a clinical trial of Slim-eeze's weight-loss product. The results of the study were published in a nutrition journal. The company's Web site includes several quotes by Dr. Roland stating that the weight loss product is safe and effective. A photo of Dr. Roland is displayed prominently on the site.

Analysis: The quotes from Dr. Roland and his photo on the company Web site imply endorsement of the company's weight loss product.

Decision: The company may include excerpts from Dr. Roland's published articles and it may cite the publications. Those are fair uses of published text. However, Dr. Roland may not permit the company to quote him or place his photo on its Web site. Johns Hopkins Medicine staff explained this to Dr. Roland and asked the company to remove the problematic content from its Web site.