Home / Sports / The Ohio State University wants to trademark its favorite word: ‘The’

The Ohio State University wants to trademark its favorite word: ‘The’


It is The Ohio State College. (Angie Wang/Related Press)

Ohio State is occupied with calling itself “The” Ohio State College. The grammatical article is correct there on lots of the college’s seal, emblems and indicators. Now the college has gotten so occupied with that three-letter note that it has sought to trademark it.

In one of the most sillier sports activities filings since Tom Brady pursued a “Tom Terrific” trademark in June, officers filed Software No. 88571984 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Place of work closing week, in the hunt for a hallmark for the note “THE” to apply it to pieces together with T-shirts and hats. The theory is to marketplace scarlet pieces with “THE” in gigantic letters, with the smaller Ohio State emblem underneath it. Josh Gerben, a Washington, D.C., trademark attorney, unearthed the applying, which the college — sorry, THE college — stated was once submitted to offer protection to property of “important worth.”

On the other hand, there can be a snag. Marc Jacobs, the attire corporate, beat Ohio State to the punch on the subject of that three-letter note. Its utility for “THE” (as in THE BACKPACK MARC JACOBS) was once licensed by means of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Place of work in June, however that continues to be underneath evaluate, in keeping with the Jacobs utility. Marc Jacobs would have precedence within the trademark as a result of the submitting date, in keeping with Gerben.

Gerben believes that OSU may obtain an preliminary refusal of its utility as a result of a hallmark for a logo of clothes “will have to be utilized in a trademarked type,” he stated in a video on Twitter, relating to that idea as “Trademark 101.”

“In different phrases, it needs to be used on tagging or labeling for the goods,” he stated. “On this case, simply hanging the note ‘the’ at the entrance of a hat or at the entrance of a blouse isn’t enough trademark use.”

OSU (or is it TOSU?) has maneuvered via possible trademark roadblocks prior to now. For example, it attempted to trademark “OSU” on clothes and attire in 2017 and was once met with an objection from a special OSU — Oklahoma State College. The 2 faculties ended up signing an settlement that permits each to make use of the acronym on a countrywide foundation, in keeping with the Columbus Dispatch. Closing fall, Ohio State had 150 emblems in 17 nations, along with what the Dispatch stated was once “a bunch” of pending packages. It additionally had trademarked the names of former coaches City Meyer and Woody Hayes.

Within the period in-between, Ohio State joins a listing of alternative eye-catching trademark makes an attempt. Tom Brady ticked off New York Mets fanatics in June when his TEB Capital Control corporate sought to trademark “Tom Terrific,” a nickname extra repeatedly related to Tom Seaver, the Mets’ Corridor of Reputation pitcher. The New England Patriots quarterback later stated his purpose was once “to take a look at to stay” folks from the use of a nickname that he doesn’t like.

Within the years since Pat Riley famously held the trademark to “Three-Peat,” different representatives and groups have rushed to the USPTO.

“Through the years, other folks within the sports activities global have surely tried to offer protection to puppy words and issues of this nature with trademark filings,” Gerben stated in a telephone interview. “I can say it’s almost definitely just a little extra not unusual at the present time as a result of the theory of branded products. All of the branding round sports activities groups, and athletes themselves has actually exploded within the closing 10 or 15 years, and so that you do see extra of this going down.”

Take Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick out in June’s NBA draft by means of the New Orleans Pelicans.

“[A]t his press convention, he was once requested if he was once able to visit New Orleans, and his reaction was once simply, ‘Let’s dance,’ ” Gerben stated. “Day after today, each he and the Pelicans went out and filed for the trademark with out the opposite realizing about it.”

The word wasn’t distinctive to Williamson, who admitted that he were given it from Thanos, his favourite Wonder personality. The Pelicans beat Williamson’s representatives to use for a hallmark by means of about 5 hours. The 4 trademark requests in Williamson’s title had been for such things as toys, clothes and athletic put on, luggage and baggage, and pc video games and cellular packages. The Pelicans’ pair of requests come with video video games, instructional and leisure services and products and appearances in addition to clothes and accessories. The packages shall be assigned to an analyzing lawyer.

Ohio State’s thought, whether or not as a self-aware wink or a bit of of pretentiousness, is a amusing one, an echo of the athletes who introduce themselves earlier than NFL video games as coming from “THE Ohio State College.” That four-word word is usually a supply of pleasure or annoyance, relying in your alma mater, however it’s precious branding for the college.

“Like different establishments, Ohio State works to vigorously give protection to the college’s logo and emblems,” Chris Davey, a spokesman for the college, stated in a observation to the Columbus Dispatch. “Those property cling important worth, which advantages our scholars and college and the wider neighborhood by means of supporting our core educational challenge of educating and analysis.”

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