The Ohio State College Emblems ‘The’

The Ohio State University Trademarks ‘The’

2022-06-23 21:41:45

The Ohio State College has obtained a trademark for probably the most widespread phrases within the English language, one which the college’s supporters usually forcefully emphasize when uttering its title: “The.”

The varsity’s gamers, alumni and supporters usually communicate its title in that constant cadence, as soccer followers who’ve watched N.F.L. beginning lineups introduce themselves on Sunday or Monday nights have most probably heard. Whereas athletes from different colleges could merely say they went to Michigan or Penn State, a Buckeye not often cuts corners: “The Ohio State College,” they’ll say, normally including a dramatic pause after stressing the “the.”

To Ohio State’s supporters, the custom is cherished and units the college aside from the remaining. (To Ohio State’s rivals, it’s nauseatingly pompous. To every their very own.)

The trademark, issued on Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace, received’t unleash heavy-handed legal professionals searching for anybody utilizing the phrase “the” — its protections are restricted to a slim set of circumstances that individuals are unlikely to cross except they’re promoting knockoff Ohio State merchandise. Nevertheless it provides the college some safety towards unlicensed sellers, and provides to the college’s efforts to hyperlink itself to the quite common phrase.

“THE has been a rallying cry within the Ohio State neighborhood for a few years,” Ben Johnson, an Ohio State spokesman, stated in an announcement.

Many universities are fiercely protecting of their logos, and Ohio State is not any completely different. The trademark and licensing program earns the college a median of greater than $12.5 million every year, Mr. Johnson stated.

In a single notable instance from 2012, the College of Alabama apologized to an area baker after she obtained a stop and desist letter ordering her to cease utilizing the faculty’s script A on desserts and cookies.

The Ohio State College first filed for a trademark for “The” in 2019, however ran right into a battle with the attire designer Marc Jacobs, which was additionally making use of to trademark the phrase to be used in its clothes. They reached an settlement in 2021 that will permit them each to register for logos for the phrase; Ohio State’s trademark is proscribed to clothes — T-shirts and hats — which are bought via “channels customary to the sphere of sports activities and collegiate athletics,” in response to its trademark.

That particular focus is why Ohio State trademarking the widespread phrase received’t cease different corporations from having the phrase “the” of their names or merchandise, stated Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer. The trademark can be used provided that somebody have been making an attempt to symbolize Ohio State utilizing the phrase, he stated.

“Ohio State just isn’t going to have a really broad quantity of safety over the phrase,” he stated. “This can be a very, very slim registration with very, very slim enforcement capabilities related to it.”

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