A US University Now Has Got Approval To Trademark ‘The’ For Merchandise

Ohio State University in the United States has won a fight to trademark the word “The”. Yes, you heard that right! The US Patent and Trademark Office approved the university’s request earlier this week, news agency Associated Press reported. This will allow Ohio State to control use of “The” on all branded products such as T-shirts, baseball caps and hats that are associated with and sold through athletics and collegiate channels, the report said. “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,” Ben Johnson, the university’s senior director of media and public relations, was quoted as saying.  The university’s licencing and trademark programme generates over $12.5 million a year in revenue, Johnson said, adding that it helps fund student scholarships and university programmes. It was in August 2019 that Ohio State University started pursuing a trademark for ‘The’. This was a few months after fashion retailer Marc Jacobs had filed an application for the word. In August 2021, the company and the university reached a deal, as per which both can use the branding, the report said. According to the AP report, the patent office had rejected Ohio State’s initial application, saying the trademark appeared to be used for “merely decorative manner”, and as an “ornamental feature”. It had said ‘the’ did not appear to function as a trademark that would differentiate the items from others.

A US University Now Has Got Approval To Trademark ‘The’ For Merchandise

Ohio State University in the United States has won a fight to trademark the word “The”. Yes, you heard that right! The US Patent and Trademark Office approved the university’s request earlier this week, news agency Associated Press reported. This will allow Ohio State to control use of “The” on all branded products such as T-shirts, baseball caps and hats that are associated with and sold through athletics and collegiate channels, the report said.

“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,” Ben Johnson, the university’s senior director of media and public relations, was quoted as saying. 

The university’s licencing and trademark programme generates over $12.5 million a year in revenue, Johnson said, adding that it helps fund student scholarships and university programmes.

It was in August 2019 that Ohio State University started pursuing a trademark for ‘The’. This was a few months after fashion retailer Marc Jacobs had filed an application for the word. In August 2021, the company and the university reached a deal, as per which both can use the branding, the report said.

According to the AP report, the patent office had rejected Ohio State’s initial application, saying the trademark appeared to be used for “merely decorative manner”, and as an “ornamental feature”. It had said ‘the’ did not appear to function as a trademark that would differentiate the items from others.