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Ohio State Has Filed A Trademark Application For The Word "The"

A general view of Ohio State's stadium.

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 18: A general view of Ohio Stadium as more than 99,000 fans packed in to watch the annual Ohio State Spring Game on April 18, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

You have probably heard Ohio State players, coaches, fans and alums refer to the school as 'THE' Ohio State University. Now, the university is trying to get a trademark based off that phrasing.

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben uncovered a trademark application for the word "the" by OSU, filed on August 8. The school is planning on using the word on the front of shirts, hats and other merchandise.

However, Gerben thinks this claim "has issues from the start."

"In order for a trademark to be registered for a brand of clothing, the trademark must be used in a trademark fashion," he said. "In other words, it has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products. In this case, just putting the word 'the' on the front of a shirt is not sufficient trademark use."

https://twitter.com/joshgerben/status/1161417568604827654?s=21

You can see in the clip above the word "THE" is the only thing appearing on the front of this merchandise. That's why Gerben says the claim is a bit flimsy.

Have to admit, it is an interesting move by Ohio State, even if it seems unlikely to work.

The shirts look pretty cool but the school might have to rethink this campaign a little.