If you struggle to differentiate the University of Houston Law Center, from the newly named Houston College of Law, you may understand why UH filed a lawsuit in June, accusing the newly formed school of intentional infringement upon the University of Houston’s intellectual property.
The University of Houston Law Center is arguing that when South Texas College of Law changed its name to Houston College of Law it was trying to capitalize on the University of Houston law schools’ reputation, and was confusing people.
Now, Houston College of Law has filed a counterclaim.
It alleges that it had to change its name to be more accurate, saying that nearly a century ago, it made sense to call it “South Texas” because the region was generally understood to encompass Houston. But now, Houston is its own region and so the law school says the new name reflects that better.
In the counterclaim, Houston College of Law also contends that the University of Houston lawsuit has derogatory language, and has unfounded claims like the reason for the name change was to shed the South Texas College of Law image as a “night school.”
The counterclaim also states that any confusion between the new name – Houston College of Law and the University of Houston Law Center — is not protected under applicable trademark laws.
U-H attorney Tony Buzzbee replied via email, that the counterclaim isn’t of any significance.
The two law schools are scheduled to meet in Federal Court on August 18th.