Ohio State, Oklahoma in a trademark battle over "Block O" usage
In 2016 and 2017, Ohio State and Oklahoma met on the field for a home-and-home series between two of the most tradition-rich programs in college football history. But in 2018, the two schools find themselves in a trademark battle.
According to The Sports Biz, Ohio State University has filed a Trademark Trial and Appeal action against the University of Oklahoma for its usage of the “Block O,” which is currently being used in commerce. Ohio State is concerned that, if the mark registers with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, there will be confusion regarding the “Block O.”
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In 2017, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents filed a trademark application for the “Block O.” A drum major marching with a uniform that has the letter “O” on his chest has been in commercial use for Oklahoma since 2001.
Ohio State filed its grounds of opposition for the following reason:
“Today, the Block O Mark is the heart of the branding and image of Ohio State and is used in connection with all products and services offered and provided by Ohio State, including educational, athletic, recreational, and musical. Indeed, the Block O Mark is permanently displayed in the middle of the football field at Ohio Stadium where millions of viewers have seen the Ohio State Buckeyes football team play its home games and have cheered on Ohio State’s marching band as it performs its famous ‘Script Ohio.’”
Oklahoma will have until October 8 to respond to the opposition. It will be required to answer Ohio State’s claim of infringement and dilution.