Ohio State University applies to trademark 'The'
Ohio State University is seeking to trademark the word "The" when used in association with retail merchandise.
The school submitted an application last week to the federal Patent and Trademark Office to trademark perhaps the most common word in the English language.
The request was for "The Ohio State University" and would cover items such as T-shirts, baseball caps and hats, according to the application. Ohio State already has trademarked "Ohio."
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“Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” Chris Davey, a spokesman for the university, said in a statement to Fox News. "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."
The school has secured trademarks of football coaches in the past, including coaches Woody Hayes and Urban Meyer. Last fall, a university spokesperson said the school had 150 trademarks in 17 countries.
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In 2017, the school applied to trademark "OSU" on apparel, according to its application.
Oklahoma State University, which also goes by the OSU acronym, objected, and the two schools signed an agreement that allowed both to use it, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.