Ohio State University is successful in its battle to trademark the term “The.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the university’s request Tuesday. According to the school, Ohio State can now control their use. “The”On branded products sold via athletic and college channels such as T-shirts and baseball caps.
“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,” said Ben Johnson, the university’s senior director of media and public relations. He noted the university’s licensing and trademark program generates over $12.5 million a year in revenue, which helps fund student scholarships and university programs.
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After Marc Jacobs, a fashion retailer had applied for the term a few months prior to Ohio State’s trademark application in August 2019, Ohio State began to pursue a trademark. In August 2021, the university and the company reached an agreement that permits both sides to use their branding.
The patent office rejected Ohio State’s initial application, finding the trademark appeared to be used for “merely decorative manner”And as an “ornamental feature” that didn’t appear to function as a trademark that would differentiate the items from others.
This article was contributed by the Associated Press
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