The Ohio State College has efficiently trademarked the phrase “THE.”
US Patent and Trademark Workplace issued a certificates on Tuesday approving the request.
A trademark lawyer instructed Insider that the rights gained are literally fairly restricted.
The Ohio State College has efficiently registered a trademark for the phrase “THE.”
In a Tuesday certificates from the US Patent and Trademark Workplace obtained by native information channel WCMH, Ohio State was granted permission to make use of “THE” on sure articles of clothes like shirts and hats. The colour, dimension, or font model of “THE” doesn’t matter.
In an announcement shared with Insider, Ohio State mentioned it was “happy” with the choice and mentioned the trademark will cowl branded objects “related to and offered by means of athletics and collegiate channels.”
“THE has been a rallying cry within the Ohio State group for a few years, and Buckeye followers who buy official Ohio State gear help pupil scholarships, libraries and different college initiatives,” a college spokesperson mentioned. “Like different establishments, Ohio State works to guard the college’s model and logos as a result of these belongings profit college students and school, and help our core educational mission of instructing and analysis.”
The spokesperson mentioned Ohio State makes $12.5 million in annual income from the college’s trademark and licensing program — cash the spokesperson mentioned goes to “scholarships and college applications.”
Ohio State initially filed to trademark “THE” in 2019, and it was initially rejected after dressmaker Marc Jacobs beat the varsity to the punch. The college and Marc Jacobs later reached an settlement in 2021 to permit them each to make use of the phrase.
Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer who tweeted a thread concerning the certificates, instructed Insider that the trademark does not present an “absolute proper of phrase,” however fairly a proper of phrase or phrase because it pertains to sure items.
“So right here, Ohio State has tried to register the trademark for the phrase ‘THE’ because it pertains to a clothes model — and finally that’s what they’ve registered right here,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the rights the varsity has from the trademark within the clothes house are restricted and will solely be enforced in a slim context.
With “federal registration, if the mark is very distinctive, would theoretically enable Ohio State to be the one model that use the phrase ‘THE’ within the clothes house,” Gerben mentioned. Nevertheless, he added, there are such a lot of different logos already registered within the clothes house that use the phrase “THE.”
An instance of violating the trademark, Gerben mentioned, could be if somebody begins making shirts with the Ohio State colours and tries to promote them, and so they use the phrase “THE.”
Gerben mentioned folks haven’t got to fret about getting a letter from Ohio State in the event that they use the phrase “THE” going ahead.
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