Analysis

Can Ohio State Register The Word 'The' As A Trademark?

Law360 (August 14, 2019, 11:30 AM EDT) -- After years of emphasizing that it is "The" Ohio State University, the college sports powerhouse is trying to register the word "The" as a trademark, an effort that isn't as weird as it sounds but could still face a number of legal hurdles.

Ohio State says "The" is a protected trademark for school merchandise. In an Aug. 8 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Buckeyes applied to register the stand-alone definite article — typically cited as the most common word in the English language — as a trademark for apparel. On its website, Ohio State sells T-shirts featuring...

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