Ohio State gets approval to trademark ‘The’ for merchandise

The university started pursuing a trademark after fashion retailer Marc Jacobs had filed an application for the word in 2019.
By: | June 23, 2022

Ohio State University has won its fight to trademark the word “The.”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the university’s request. The school says it allows Ohio State to control use of “The” on branded products associated with and sold through athletics and collegiate channels, such as T-shirts, baseball caps and hats.

“THE has been a rallying cry in the Ohio State community for many years, and Buckeye fans who purchase official Ohio State gear support student scholarships, libraries and other university initiatives,” said Ben Johnson, the university’s senior director of media and public relations. He noted the university’s licensing and trademark program generates over $12.5 million a year in revenue, which helps fund student scholarships and university programs.

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