Blake Morgan helps language school chain with Isis name change

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Lawyers from Blake Morgan played a key role in helping a language school company called Isis Education to re-brand because of the name’s negative connotations.

Blake Morgan’s Intellectual Property team carried out clearance searches for the organisation as it sought to change its name to the Oxford International Education Group.

The Oxford-based chain of language schools and education providers was founded as Isis Education in 1991, taking its name from the part of the River Thames which runs through the city.

But in recent years the name has become associated with extremism and violence in Syria and Iraq, causing difficulties for the schools’ staff when attending international events and while wearing branded T-shirts.

The education group, which runs courses for thousands of overseas students, had also said the problem with its original name was having an impact on recruiting students, particularly from the Middle East.

Jill Bainbridge, a partner in the Intellectual Property team, said: “The language school is among a number of organisations that have felt compelled to change their name following the unfortunate but unforeseeable fact that the name Isis now has negative connotations.

“When a business or organisation makes any changes to its name it’s important that potential rights issues around the proposed new name are thoroughly researched, so we were delighted to help the newly-named Oxford International Education Group in this matter as it looks to continued success in the UK and abroad.”