Wednesday, 19 October 2016 16:04

Houston Law Schools Fight over Trademark Rights in New Name

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A federal judge in Texas has barred the newly named Houston College of Law from using its name. A U.S. District Court Judge sided with the University of Houston Law Center, granting their request for a temporary injunction in a trademark infringement suit filed against the newly renamed Houston College of Law.

The rival school, formerly known as South Texas College of Law, was sued for trademark infringement in June. The Plaintiff, University of Houston Law Center, claimed the name change and a switch to a similar red-and-white color scheme would confuse prospective students and future employers.

In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, noted several instances of actual confusion, including a letter delivered to the wrong law school and an email from the Texas Board of Law Examiners sent to the wrong law school. "The appearance of the University of Houston Law Center and Houston College of Law marks are strikingly similar," Ellison wrote. "As an initial matter, two of the three words in defendant's mark appear in UH's mark ("Houston" and "Law"), which is a noteworthy fact in and of itself. Far more troubling, however, is the way in which defendant deploys its mark in the marketplace." Lawyers for the University of Houston call the ruling "a complete victory."

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David Andrew Joseph

Mr. Joseph earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from The Florida State University College of Business, and his law degree, from Loyola University New Orleans. While at Loyola University he served on the board of the Hispanic Latino Student Association, and earned a certificate in International Legal Studies. Mr. Joseph is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida, as well as in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Joseph is fluent in Spanish, and is a member of the American Bar Association and the Dade County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section.