This will probably be the weirdest news story of the day, courtesy of “the” Ohio State University.
Trademark applications alone are not an unusual part of sports and college athletics. Certain schools and teams have trademarked – or tried to trademark – various logos, slogans, or mascots. For example, the Miami Hurricanes have trademarked their famous “U” logo.
However, in terms of trademark requests, the one submitted by Ohio State in August takes the cake. According to trademark attorney Josh Gerben, the Buckeyes have submitted a trademark application on the word “the.” No, this is not a joke.
According to the application, Ohio State is looking to release a “THE” brand of clothing line that will include shirts, hats, and potentially other memorabilia. Gerben also noted the application has some errors out of the gate.
The biggest issue Gerben pointed out is that the trademark “must be used in trademark fashion…tagging or labeling of the product.” He believes the examples of trademark use submitted by OSU with the application do not meet those requirements. Gerben expects the initial trademark application will be denied, but the Buckeyes will get a chance to fix the issues.
Here’s Gerben’s full breakdown of the application:
The Ohio State University has filed a trademark application on the word "THE."
The filing, made on August 8th, indicates #OhioState is offering a brand of "THE" clothing.
Not sure how 'The U' will feel about this one.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 13, 2019