COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University wants to trademark the word “The” when used in conjunction with the university’s name on items marketed for sale.
The university submitted a trademark application Aug. 8 to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington.
The request is for a standard character trademark for the title “The Ohio State University.” Some of the items covered would include T-shirts, baseball caps and hats, according to the university’s application.
“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 after confirming the trademark submission.
“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.”
In the past, Ohio State has trademarked the names of its most-legendary football coaches.
The university had Urban Meyer’s name trademarked in 2015. Ohio State also secured a trademark designation for Woody Hayes in 2016.
In obtaining the trademark for Hayes, the university stipulated that royalties from sales would be designated for a scholarship fund.
There have been disputes over trademarks in the past. In February 2017, Ohio State requested to trademark the acronym OSU on clothing and apparel.
Oklahoma State University, which also goes by the acronym OSU, objected. Eventually, the two schools signed an agreement that allowed both schools to use the acronym on a national basis.
Ohio State last fall had 150 trademarks in 17 countries, plus a number of pending applications, and had worked with about 400 licensees, a spokesman said then.