Ohio State University has received a trademark for one of the most common words in the English language, which school supporters often emphasize when naming it: “The.”
School players, alumni and supporters often speak his name in this consistency, as football fans who have seen the line-up for the NFL starting on Sunday or Monday nights have often heard. While players from other schools can only say they’ve been to Michigan or Penn State, a bookie rarely cuts corners: “The Ohio State University,” he would say, usually on “The”. Add a dramatic pause after the emphasis.
For Ohio State supporters, tradition is valued and sets the school apart. (For Ohio State rivals, it’s full of nausea. Everyone has their own.)
The trademark, released Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will not drop heavy-handed lawyers in search of anyone using the word “the” – its concerns are limited to limited circumstances unless people Are unlikely to cross They are selling Knock of Ohio State equipment. But it does give the university some protection against unlicensed vendors, and adds to the school’s efforts to associate itself with the very common word.
“He’s been a protester in the Ohio State community for years,” Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said in a statement.
Many universities strictly protect their trademarks, and Ohio State is no different. Mr Johnson said the trademark and licensing program earns the university an average of more than .5 12.5 million a year.
In a notable example from 2012, the University of Alabama apologized to a local baker when he received a letter ordering him to stop using College Script A on cakes and cookies.
Ohio State University first applied for a trademark for “The” in 2019, but had a dispute with apparel designer Marc Jacobs, who also applied for the trademark to use the word in his clothing. Was applying They signed an agreement in 2021 to allow both words to be registered for trademarks. Ohio State’s trademark is limited to clothing – T-shirts and hats – which, according to its trademark, are sold through “traditional channels in the field of sports and college athletics.”
Trademark attorney Josh Garbin said the focus is on the fact that Ohio State’s trademark of the common word will not prevent other companies from using the word “The” in their names or products. He said the trademark would only be used if someone was trying to represent the state of Ohio.
“Ohio State will not have much protection on that word,” he said. “It’s a very, very tight registration with very, very tight enforcement capabilities.”