Ohio State has efficiently trademarked the phrase ‘The’

Ohio State’s possession of the trademark “The” has been legally formalized, a growth that won’t be warmly acquired amongst non-Buckeyes faculty soccer followers.

The college’s trademark utility for probably the most generally used phrase within the English language was formally authorized on Tuesday, first reported by trademark attorney Josh Gerben. Buckeye’s soccer program kind of confirmed the information on Twitter:

How might Ohio State get such a trademark? Nicely, as Gerben explains, Ohio State initially utilized for the trademark in August 2019, however was rejected as a result of a) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace discovered it “merely ornamental” and b) the clothes firm Marc Jacobs utilized for a trademark on it similar phrase months earlier.

Ohio State reportedly opposed Marc Jacobs’ utility and finally reached a settlement in August 2021 that allowed co-ownership of “The.” A yr later, it has apparently satisfied the USPTO that its use of the phrase is greater than ornamental, permitting it to maneuver ahead and efficiently register the trademark.

What Does Ohio State’s’ Model Actually Imply?

To be clear, you would not have to pay Ohio State to make use of the phrase “The” (Yahoo Sports activities could be responsible of 48 makes use of on this article alone if that have been the case). The mark applies solely to class 25 (clothes, fundamental) and solely in sportswear, as described in Gerben’s display screen capsule:

Clothes, specifically, t-shirts, baseball caps and hats; the entire foregoing is promoted, distributed and offered via channels customary in sports activities and collegiate athletics

So this model ought to solely have an effect on you in the event you have been planning to promote some garments with an enormous “THE” on.

Ohio State followers (and gamers) who use “The” have been a frequent sight for many years, stemming from the college’s formal title as “The Ohio State College.” Whereas the actual article has technically been a part of the title since its change from “Ohio Agricultural & Mechanical School” in 1878, the college took a deliberate step in 1986 to make use of “The” in its branding to distinguish itself from different OSUs’ is as e.g. Oregon State and Oklahoma State.

The change was clearly standard in Buckeye nation and also needs to be profitable now, through The Related Press:

“THE has been an outcry within the Ohio State neighborhood for a few years, and Buckeye followers who formally buy Ohio State gear assist pupil scholarships, libraries, and different college initiatives,” mentioned Ben Johnson, the college’s senior director of media and public relations. He famous that the college’s licensing and trademark program generates over $ 12.5 million a yr in income, which helps fund pupil scholarships and college packages.

Ohio State’s possession of “The” is now acknowledged by the U.S. authorities. (Photograph by Wealthy Schultz / Getty Photographs)

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