Guest Blogger: Dean Robert D. Burrus, Jr. This post was originally shared on WilmingtonBiz.com on August 1, 2016.
To most people, the word “university” suggests an education-based institution in which academic degrees are conferred to individuals completing the required curriculum. One might not realize that the term can be used by any entity, for example, Trump University, PwC Open University, and Google University. None of these examples are universities in the way most people use the term: These entities use the term liberally to suggest an enhanced education in a specific area. Satisfaction with the educational offering depends largely on what one expected to get out of the experience. The use of the word “university” has the potential to become a legal matter depending on individual state and consumer protection laws. Trademark law does not prohibit the use of the word “university” in a name. The point to this is that the use of the word “university” does not necessarily imply that an institution is offering a quality educational experience.