Ohio State University athletes and coaches who insist that you call it "THE Ohio State University" could soon have the federal government on their side after the university filed a request to trademark the word "the" last week.
For years, the university's demand that it be called "THE Ohio State University" has rankled sports fans and journalists, who've called it "pompous and stupid," "ridiculous" and "arrogant."
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Partisans, including the university, point out that "the" is part of its name under state law. And Chris Davey, a spokesman for the university, told The Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday that it's important to "vigorously protect the university's brand and trademarks."
"These assets hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and the broader community by supporting our core academic mission of teaching and research," Davey said.
But Ohio State's greatest rival, the University of Michigan, poked fun at the filing on Wednesday, tweeting the satirical suggestion that it had trademarked the word "OF."
Gerben predicted on Tuesday that Ohio State was "likely to receive an initial refusal of the application."
For a trademark to be registered for a brand of clothing, the trademark "must be used in a trademarked fashion," he said on Twitter. "In other words, it has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products.
The Ohio State University has filed a trademark application on the word "THE."
The filing, made on August 8th, indicates #OhioState is offering a brand of "THE" clothing.