Ohio State wins lengthy struggle to trademark frequent English phrase: ‘THE’

So far, the college’s licensing program has generated over US$130 million in royalty income from roughly US$1.3 billion in licensed retail gross sales, in keeping with its web site

Ohio State College — or reasonably, The Ohio State College —  has formally received trademark rights to one of the frequent phrases within the English language: “THE.”

The college  gained permission to make use of “THE” by itself on all attire out there “by channels customary to the sphere of sports activities and collegiate athletics,” the US Patent and Trademark Workplace mentioned this week. Ohio State can embrace “THE” as the only design on a shirt or hat, however the trademark image should nonetheless be seen on a tag or label.

You are reading: Ohio State wins lengthy struggle to trademark frequent English phrase: ‘THE’

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The phrase — thought-about an article in English —  is necessary to the varsity and its sports activities groups often called the Buckeyes. It seems on the college seal and the phrase is welded in entrance of the varsity’s title when spoken as a badge of honour amongst its college students, alumni in professional sports activities and different collegiate cognoscenti.

Ohio State took authorized motion to guard “the” after vogue designer Marc Jacobs utilized to trademark the phrase on a sweater in Could 2019. The college’s preliminary try to trademark the phrase, which has served as a tagline on its attire for the final 15 years, was rejected in September 2019. The Trademark workplace cited it as “merely… decorative,” and pointed to the Marc Jacobs submitting months earlier than. Final August, the faculty was rebuffed as soon as extra, and the varsity and vogue home reached a settlement settlement.

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The transfer has gained consideration past campus and alumni, together with from the nationally syndicated recreation present “Jeopardy!.” In an episode final 12 months, contestant Courtney Shah clinched her seven-day streak after responding, “What’s The Ohio State College?” when requested to determine the the general public college that filed a movement to trademark “the” on attire.

Logos are large enterprise for Ohio State. So far, the college’s licensing program has generated over US$130 million in royalty income from roughly US$1.3 billion in licensed retail gross sales, in keeping with its web site.

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