Oxford University's Trademarked Registrations Include Underwear, Lubricants, Whips

Oxford University is currently fighting to protect its New College trademark which is under threat from philosopher AC Grayling.

The procedure of trademarking an brand means Oxford University can protect itself from other companies marketing goods using their name. The institution, which is more than 600 years old, is awaiting a decision from the Intellectual Property Office this week.

The university has submitted a bid for full protection of the "New College, Oxford" name after Grayling's New College of the Humanities revealed it was also vying for the trademark.

But as Huffington Post UK discovered, Oxford has already trademarked itself for some rather more unusual items...

Oxford Limited, a subsidiary of the university, operates the institution's merchandise shop, as well as being responsible for the brand licensing programme.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed the university had trademarked the following categories:

  • Class 3: Which includes items such as bleach, perfume, essential oils, hair lotions
  • Class 4: Includes lubricants, fuels and scented candles
  • Class 9: Computer games, contact lenses, clothing for "protection against accidents"
  • Class 16: Disposable paper nappies for babies
  • Class 18: Animal skins, whips, "clothing for animals"
  • Class 19: Ivory, Whalebone, bone

The spokesperson added: "Please be aware, that we trademark to protect against the use of the University’s IP by others, as well as categories that have a relevance to the University and its accomplishments."

Other items also include:

  • "Games and playthings", Christmas tree decorations
  • Flour, mustard, pizza, seeds and ice
  • Live animals and "food and beverages for animals"
  • Alcopops.

But Oxford is not alone in trademarking obscure items; University College London makes sure no-one can misuse its name for massage apparatus, clothing for animals and in preparations for destroying vermin.

An IPO spokesperson said registering a trademark gives any business the exclusive right to use that mark for the purposes of identifying its goods or services within the UK.

"It can also make it easier to take any legal action against any infringement of that trade mark. Any college that is successful in obtaining a trade mark for their name will gain the same benefits as any other business."