"A little while ago 'commercial' was in the same part of the Oxford English Dictionary as 'prostitution' at this university," Mike Davis, managing director of Oxford Limited, told the Times of London.
Oxford Limited is a subsidiary set up to handle agreements for use of the university's name and coat of arms. Oxford trademarked its crest in 1993 and gets almost $1 million a year from licensing deals, but hopes to bring in 10 times more within the next five years.
"We want to sell things with a real relevance to Oxford; we want to romance the products with Oxford's heritage," Davis said.
The university has already signed an agreement with a toymaker for a line of scientific products aimed at the young. Davis said other items being considered are microscopes and globes sold bearing the names of famous scientists associated with Oxford.