Ohio State University gets a trademark for the word “THE”

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University has officially registered a trademark for the word “THE” after a nearly three-year struggle to gain legal trademark access to a word central to the school’s overall identity.

The University of Columbus will use the word “THE” for school-related branded products sold through its athletics and collegiate channels, OSU spokesman Ben Johnson said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.

“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,” Johnson said.

The university filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2019 after fashion designer Marc Jacobs also applied for the trademark of the same word, Johnson said.

Last year, the university and the designer reached an agreement that allows both to register “THE” branded products for continued use and licensing, Johnson explained.

“Like other institutions, the State of Ohio works to protect the university’s brand and trademarks because these assets benefit students and faculty and support our core academic mission of teaching and research,” Johnson said.

The university’s branding and licensing program generates an average of more than $12.5 million in revenue per year, which is used to fund university programs and student scholarships, according to Johnson.

The university began using “the” with its name in 1986 when the institution introduced a new logo in hopes of moving away from the “OSU” symbol. according to school. The move was partly to distinguish them from two other schools with the same initials — Oregon State University and Oklahoma State University.

The trend of emphasizing the word “that” started in the mid-1990s when the school wanted soccer players to use it when introducing themselves. It became a meme when NFL broadcasts showed clips of players saying their names and alma mater. OSU graduates emphasized that they came from THE Ohio State University. The OSU player intro was even parodies from “Saturday Night Live”.

The-CNN-Wire & 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved. Ohio State University gets a trademark for the word “THE”

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