PCA Trademark Policy
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
POLICY REGARDING THE PCA®
BD-10/97-1 MSP that the Board of Directors adopt the following policy regarding the PCA®:
Since 1974 the Presbyterian Church in America has used the initials “PCA” to identify various programs and printed materials. In order to prevent confusion from any unauthorized use of the PCA initials, the “service mark” was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1987. Thus, the Presbyterian Church in America has the exclusive right to use the PCA® initials in matters relating to educational services, ministry services and missionary services. The Administrative Committee, which serves as the Board of Directors of Presbyterian Church in America (A Corporation), desiring to assist PCA churches in the appropriate use of the PCA® service mark, has adopted the following policy.
- Presbyterian Church in America (A Corporation) grants (either expressly or tacitly) and will continue to grant local churches and presbyteries the right to use its mark PCA® in connection with the name of the local church for ordinary local church activities (i.e., local advertising of the church’s worship services and other activities, ministries in the local church and its community, local church newsletters for its members, etc.).
- Presbyterian Church in America (A Corporation) requires that uses of the mark for other than ordinary local church activities be approved in advance by the Administrative Committee at the denominational level. Approval shall not be Granted unless the Committee is able to assert sufficient control over the mark’s use assure the mark is only utilized in a manner consistent with the doctrinal tenets, existing ministries, and policies of the denomination.
- Presbyterian Church in America (A Corporation) requires that any incidents of possible trademark infringement be immediately reported to the Administrative Committee at the denominational level. The Committee will determine what appropriate action should be taken to promptly remedy the infringement.
- This policy applies equally online, in social media or blogs just as in any other medium. Uses of PCA marks on local church and presbytery websites or communications must be consistent with all trademark usage and other rules regarding PCA membership and affiliation. Logos or designs should not be modified or altered. Black and white versions of logos can be used, but colors, fonts, etc., should not be changed. If technological limitations of social media or other protocols do not permit the display of the complete logo or design, do not use such logos or designs.
The requirements to use capitalization and the registration symbol with the PCA marks are relaxed to the extent that such either cannot or are not normally observed on the internet including on social media sites.
Use of PCA marks for personal accounts of local church and presbytery employees and officials are more restricted. Local church and presbytery employees and officials should designate any personal social media accounts and/or blogs, usernames, handles, and associated postings as personal accounts. Personal social media accounts may describe the employee’s/official’s position at a PCA member institution but should not use any PCA logo or designs as part of a social media handle or username. Permitted descriptive use of any PCA marks must not suggest any sponsorship or endorsement by PCA of personal social media postings.
Because it is impossible to anticipate every possible situation when the PCA® might be used, the following are given only as examples of what is appropriate:
Examples of appropriate uses of the PCA® mark:
- First Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the PCA
- PCA Women in the Church
- PCA Men’s Rally
Examples of inappropriate uses of the PCA® mark which imply denominational control or sponsorship:
- PCA Publications (when printed by a local church or a presbytery – implies Publication by the denomination); however, “Covenant PCA News” would be appropriate for the newsletter of a local church named Covenant Presbyterian Church in America.
- PCA Parking (where a local church rents out is parking lot during the week – not part of the church’s worship services or usual church activities and also not related to the denomination); however, “Westminster PCA Parking” would be appropriate on the sign for the parking lot of Westminster Presbyterian Church in America.
- PCA Christian School (implies denominational control or sponsorship); however, “Christ Church PCA School” would be appropriate for the school operated by Christ Church PCA.
Exceptions to this policy shall be rare, and require approval from the Administrative Committee at their next scheduled meeting. Please submit your application using this form.