Last month, Ohio State did one of the more insufferable things in recent memory when it attempted to trademark the word “The” and got roasted by Michigan (and others) in the process (which Buckeyes fans were decidedly not happy about).
The tradition of emphasizing “The” stems back to 1986 when the school rebranded in an attempt to differentiate itself from Oklahoma State and Oregon State to become THE premier OSU, and in fairness, their football program has been able to do exactly that.
However, according to The Big Lead, Ohio State’s trademark bid has been denied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for reasons that attorney Josh Gerben outlined in a video he put together to analyze the case.
Ohio State University’s trademark application for the word “THE” has been refused by the USPTO.
The USPTO found that:
1. @OhioState is not using the word “THE” as a trademark.
2. Marc Jacobs filed an application for “THE” before Ohio State made its filing. #The analysis pic.twitter.com/KfQmlVtvQA
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) September 11, 2019
The onus for the rejection can apparently be credited to Marc Jacobs, which beat Ohio State to the punch by previously filing for the same trademark (the company officially refers to itself as “The Marc Jacobs”).
Gerben elaborated on the matter by adding the Ohio State legal team apparently didn’t think things all the way through before filing for the trademark and could have also lost their bid due to a technicality:
“Ohio State University filed the trademark application as it relates to a brand of shirts and hats.
In order for the trademark to register, Ohio State would have to use the trademark on a hangtag or label for the hat or shirts and not just on the front of the shirt or the front of the hat.”
Good job, good effort.
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