‘No trademark issues’ over Oxford City FC’s university bid

The Oxford Times: Thomas Guerriero Thomas Guerriero

THE boss of Oxford City FC has dismissed claims his new university in the United States could be confused with Oxford University.

American businessman Thomas Guerriero, pictured, who is a major stakeholder in the club, has said he wants to establish an Oxford City University Campus in Florida.

But an Oxford-based trademark attorney says City would have to check to see if the university’s name was protected in the US.

Mr Guerriero said: “There are 22 cities in the US with the name Oxford.

“On our website we make clear that our institution was founded in 2012.”

But Oxford University has confirmed it is monitoring the plans. Spokesman Matt Pickles said: “We are assessing what implications it may have for the university.”

Speaking on the issue of trademarks, Esther Gottschalk, trademark solicitor for Oxford firm Marks & Clerk LLP, said: “Trademarks are jurisdictional, so even if you are established and protected in the UK this doesn’t mean that you can automatically use the same name abroad.

“Because of this, most companies typically register their trademarks in every country they do business in.

“It’s vital that before launching in another country, you run legal checks to see if anyone else is using a confusingly similar brand name in the identical or a related business area.”

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Comments (3)

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9:03pm Sun 23 Feb 14

EMacb says...

A couple of corrections:
1. Mr Guerriero is a minority (49%) shareholder of the football club, not the boss.
2. His "University" (which doesn't exist, other than as a website) is nothing to do with Oxford City FC. Guerriero is just using his link with the club as an excuse to use the "Oxford City" name.
A couple of corrections: 1. Mr Guerriero is a minority (49%) shareholder of the football club, not the boss. 2. His "University" (which doesn't exist, other than as a website) is nothing to do with Oxford City FC. Guerriero is just using his link with the club as an excuse to use the "Oxford City" name. EMacb
  • Score: 4

10:04am Mon 24 Feb 14

Christine Hovis says...

You have to credit Thomas Guerriero for very effectively linking two of the most obvious 'bubbles' in today's financial world: football clubs and for-profit 'universities'. No doubt, the whole thing is hugely leveraged allowing him and his executives to extract large fees and dividends and then walk away when the whole thing falls over.

His 'university' is has all the hall-marks of a diploma mill - at least at present. Be afraid, Oxford City FC, be very afraid...
You have to credit Thomas Guerriero for very effectively linking two of the most obvious 'bubbles' in today's financial world: football clubs and for-profit 'universities'. No doubt, the whole thing is hugely leveraged allowing him and his executives to extract large fees and dividends and then walk away when the whole thing falls over. His 'university' is has all the hall-marks of a diploma mill - at least at present. Be afraid, Oxford City FC, be very afraid... Christine Hovis
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Mon 24 Feb 14

EMacb says...

I had no idea what "leveraged" meant, so I googled it. The definition of "leverage" is given as:

"The amount of debt used to finance a firm's assets. A firm with significantly more debt than equity is considered to be highly leveraged."

The accounts for last quarter - info is on the Oxford City fan forum - showed income of less than £100k and remuneration (Mr G, presumably) of over £400k. He has obviously got the money from somewhere, I assume by going massively into debt.

The issue is really how much Oxford City FC (the club) is tied up with Oxford City FC (Mr G's business). I have been told they are separate entities and nothing Mr G does with his business can jeopardise the club. I really hope that is true.
I had no idea what "leveraged" meant, so I googled it. The definition of "leverage" is given as: "The amount of debt used to finance a firm's assets. A firm with significantly more debt than equity is considered to be highly leveraged." The accounts for last quarter - info is on the Oxford City fan forum - showed income of less than £100k and remuneration (Mr G, presumably) of over £400k. He has obviously got the money from somewhere, I assume by going massively into debt. The issue is really how much Oxford City FC (the club) is tied up with Oxford City FC (Mr G's business). I have been told they are separate entities and nothing Mr G does with his business can jeopardise the club. I really hope that is true. EMacb
  • Score: 0

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