The University of Law is embroiled in a trade mark dispute with a start-up that helps teenagers get into law school, and whose co-founder is a former student.
The University of Law – also widely known as ULaw and ULAW - opposes the use of the term ‘UniLaw’ in logos relating to Uni Excellence Limited, a business offering advice on work experience, personal statements and the law admissions test. Uni Excellence Limited is attempting to register UniLaw as a trademark. It has already registered ‘UniMed’.
According to documents filed with the Intellectual Property Office, the University of Law claims that ‘UniLaw’ is ‘visually, aurally and conceptually similar’ to its own trademark and ‘there exists likelihood of confusion on the part of the public’. The documents add that the ‘power of attraction of [the university’s] mark will be reduced’ and there is a ‘likelihood that the public will believe that goods and services offered under the contested mark originate from [the University of Law] or an economically linked undertaking’.
Uni Excellence denies this, claiming ULaw has ‘low distinctive character’ and the two marks have ‘different conceptual meanings’. It adds that the university is ‘trying to monopolize the words university and law’ and denies that confusion is inevitable.
The co-founder of Uni Excellence Limited, Virginia Szepietowski, attended the University of Law. Her company is represented by Surrey-based practice Audley Chaucer Solicitors.
Proceedings are ongoing.