South Texas College of Law settles on final new name

Perhaps South Texas College of Law should have just added “Houston” to the end of its name in the first place.

Months after the Houston-based law school changed its name to Houston College of Law, fueling a trademark infringement suit, the school is back to its roots and emphasizing its location as: South Texas College of Law Houston. 

“We have a 93-year heritage of educating some of the nation’s top litigators and transactional attorneys, and we confidently stand on our own award-winning reputation,” Donald J. Guter, president and dean, said in a statement. “Our name change stemmed from a desire to make certain that people knew we were in Houston and not South Texas. We have great pride in our law school and what we have accomplished as a unique educational institution."

The school’s neighbor higher-ranked University of Houston Law Center had sued saying the change in the name and color scheme brought confusion, and that South Texas College of Law was marketing itself on its neighbor’s success.

A federal judge granted a temporary injunction last month in the trademark infringement suit. The name change has in fact created confusion and caused a “substantial threat of irreparable injury” to the University of Houston Law Center, said U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison.

The school then agreed it would change its name to avoid going to trial.

"There are still some additional details to work out," said Tony Buzbee, principal of The Buzbee Law Firm, which represented UH as lead counsel Buzbee said, "but we are pleased with the name change. We always tried to work with South Texas in a cooperative manner and are glad this case could be resolved." 

South Texas College of Law had marketed its new name on billboards and in advertisements proclaiming: “Introducing our brand new, 93-year-old law school.” The message has now changed to proclaim that the 93-year-old school is building on its deep roots. The school’s URL remained throughout the process. 

The law school also plans to feature the color navy in its future marketing efforts. While the school’s official colors have been – and will remain – crimson and gold since the board approved them in the 1960s, this change will further differentiate South Texas College of Law Houston from other colleges.