Government insignia are protected by a variety of statutes and regulations (some of them specific to particular agencies) and are also afforded protections by trademark law. In the case of the Marine Corps, 10 U.S.C. § 7881 offers specific protection to the Marine Corps Seal, emblem, name, and initials “U.S.M.C.,” and requires written permission prior to the use of these brands on commercial products. Recognizing the value of armed service brands, in 2004, Congress also authorized DoD agencies to license their trademarks for use on products, allowing that licensing royalties be used to cover program costs, as well as for morale, welfare and recreation activities for Marines (See 10 U.S.C. 2260).
The Eagle, Globe and Anchor is the universally recognized symbol of the United States Marine Corps.
The Eagle Globe and Anchor, Seal, initials (USMC) and name are the exclusive property of the United States Marine Corps. Permission to use them for commercial retail and advertising (free or paid) is required.
The use of Marine Corps trademarks for commercial purposes, including reproduction on merchandise, is expressly prohibited unless the producer completes a license agreement with the Marine Corps. Use is governed by the terms of the agreement.
Federal law, as well as Department of Defense and Marine Corps policy and regulations, prohibit the use of official Marine Corps markings and symbols in ways that imply endorsement of a private sector entity or activity (See 10 U.S.C. 7881, 32 CFR 765.14, and MCO 5030.3B).