Owner, an FAU alum, shocked by actions of his alma mater
Owl Tutoring, Inc., a well-regarded collegiate tutoring company operating with the same name for more than 10 years, today announced it is fighting the trademark claims made against it by Florida Atlantic University.
Owl Tutoring has had a close relationship with the university for many years, including operating on campus for almost five years before moving off-campus to the FAU business incubator. Despite this long-standing association, FAU is now claiming that Owl Tutoring is violating its trademark.
Owl Tutoring believes the university can’t claim exclusive rights in the term "owl" in connection with tutoring services because the term is highly suggestive for these services given that owls are a well-known symbol for wisdom and knowledge. The company also notes there are over a dozen coexisting registered and pending trademarks incorporating the term "owl" for educational services.
In response to FAU legal filings, Owl Tutoring asserted that FAU’s claims of trademark infringement are invalid because the university slept on its rights to object for more than 10 years, while actively supporting Owl Tutoring’s activities. Owl Tutoring has advertised its services in the FAU College of Business’ lobby, posted flyers approved by FAU and rendered services in FAU classrooms reserved by university staff explicitly for Owl Tutoring’s use.
Owl Tutoring was founded by FAU alum Neil Parsont, who worked closely with the university since starting the company. Parsont developed relationships with FAU professors who announced Owl Tutoring’s services during classes and invited him to speak and distribute flyers to students. The company donated $15,000 cash to the FAU Foundation and an additional $10,000 of in-kind services to the business plan competition.
Parsont is shocked and dismayed by the actions of his alma mater, and his efforts to meet with FAU outside the legal dispute were rebuked.
Owl Tutoring has helped thousands of students in the Boca Raton area from middle school through graduate school. The company promotes "Learning through understanding, not memorizing." To continue supporting education and stand up to FAU’s bullying, Parsont has started a GoFundMe for legal funds. Copies of the legal filings are available here and at www.LawsuitPressRelease.com.
John P. David