Ohio State University, home of Buckeyes, applies to trademark the word ‘the’

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Ohio State University wants to trademark the word “the” when used as part of the school’s name on university merchandise. The Columbus Dispatch reports the school submitted a trademark application this month to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

“Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” Davey told the Dispatch in a statement. “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 application requests a standard character trademark for the title “The Ohio State University”, which was the school’s former name and is often used by students and fans of its athletic teams. It would cover various items including t-shirts, baseball caps and hats. The trademark would be seen as particularly valuable due to Ohio State’s popular college football team. The Buckeyes have won eight national titles, the last of which came in 2014. The team’s home, Ohio Stadium, has a capacity of 102,082, the seventh largest in the world. The college’s athletic budget comes in at just over $109m a year, and the football team alone is thought to generate income of around $90m per year.

The school has previously secured other trademarks, including names of football coaches Woody Hayes and Urban Meyer. An Ohio State spokesman said last fall that the university had 150 trademarks in 17 countries and other applications pending.

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