Ohio State Buckeyes Successfully Trademark ‘THE’ For Clothing and Apparel

If you’re a fan of college sports, you know how Ohio State alumni and fans of the university’s sports teams refer to the school. When NFL players introduce themselves before games on the broadcast, they always refer to their university in a very specific way. 

THE Ohio State University. 

Now, after three years, Ohio State has officially registered a trademark for the word “THE.” 

As reported by Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney, Ohio State’s trademark application was denied in 2019 by the USTPO as “merely ornamental” and due to the fact that the clothing company Marc Jacobs had applied for a trademark of the word months earlier. 

Ohio State and the Marc Jacobs company reached an agreement in August 2021, clearing the way for Ohio State to go through the process of getting approval for the trademark. 

While Ohio State does not own the word, Ohio State’s trademark can be used for “Clothing, namely, t-shirts, baseball caps and hats; all of the foregoing being promoted, distributed, and sold through channels customary to the field of sports and collegiate athletics,” according to the USPTO.

Ben Johnson, OSU senior director of media and public relations, released a statement announcing the trademark. 

“Ohio State is pleased to have received a trademark for THE on branded products associated with and sold through athletics and collegiate channels,” Johnson said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. 

“THE has been a rallying cry in the Ohio State community for many years, and Buckeye fans who purchase official Ohio State gear support student scholarships, libraries and other university initiatives,” he said.

Written by Joe Morgan

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