Updated Jun 23, 2022 - Sports

Spread "THE" news — Ohio State gets its trademark

A close up of the Ohio State University seal
Photo: Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network

Ohio State successfully registered a trademark for the most frequently used word in the English language — "THE."

Driving the news: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the registration yesterday for use on clothing. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben first broke the news.

Flashback: Ohio State — sorry, The Ohio State — applied for the trademark three years ago to "protect the university's brand."

  • The patent office initially denied the request, calling it "merely decorative," but the university defended its position.
  • When fashion company Marc Jacobs attempted to trademark the word, the two parties settled last year by agreeing they both could use it.

Of note: OSU's licensing and trademark program generates over $12.5 million in annual revenue, per a university statement.

Our take: Guess this derails our plans to rename our weekday newsletter "The Axios Columbus." Darn.

📬 We want to know: Is this a prudent financial move, pretentious or just a PR stunt? Email [email protected].

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