Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner

Archived Thread

Ohio State seeks to trademark the word 'The'

Del Shofner : 8/14/2019 3:53 pm
Ohio State is seeking a trademark on one of the most common words in the English language.

The school, formally known as The Ohio State University, is seeking a trademark on the word "The" for use on clothing and hats. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the filing was made Thursday.

this should be interesting - ( New Window )
Yeah....no  
Anakim : 8/14/2019 3:58 pm : link
They're going to be laughed at
I think Miami  
TurdFurguson : 8/14/2019 4:00 pm : link
Will have something to say about that
Hate that  
section125 : 8/14/2019 4:01 pm : link
place.
Well there are probably a hundred  
Mike from Ohio : 8/14/2019 4:22 pm : link
university names that start with "the," but sure, it should be their sole property simply because they have the most insufferable fan base on the planet.
Fuck you.  
81_Great_Dane : 8/14/2019 4:35 pm : link
Warmly,

The Bronx
I don't see this happening  
gidiefor : Mod : 8/14/2019 5:14 pm : link
the trademark office will certainly look foolish if they grant this wish
I agree it's not happening, but just to play Devil's Advocate.  
Mike in Long Beach : 8/14/2019 5:18 pm : link
If someone is selling T-shirts with the slogan "THE best damn school in the land" and it's covered in scarlet and grey... and the THE is the centerpiece of the shirt and the reason people are buying it and associating it with Ohio State, is it not reasonable to say Ohio State should have the rights to that?

And full disclosure, I'm a Buckeye haha
RE: I agree it's not happening, but just to play Devil's Advocate.  
uther99 : 8/14/2019 5:22 pm : link
In comment 14530487 Mike in Long Beach said:
Quote:
If someone is selling T-shirts with the slogan "THE best damn school in the land" and it's covered in scarlet and grey... and the THE is the centerpiece of the shirt and the reason people are buying it and associating it with Ohio State, is it not reasonable to say Ohio State should have the rights to that?

And full disclosure, I'm a Buckeye haha


Without the Scarlet and Grey that could be any school.
RE: RE: I agree it's not happening, but just to play Devil's Advocate.  
Mike in Prescott : 8/14/2019 5:43 pm : link
In comment 14530491 uther99 said:
Quote:
In comment 14530487 Mike in Long Beach said:


Quote:

Without the Scarlet and Grey that could be any school.


Yes. Obviously. But that is not the point that Mike is making. IF the "THE" is combined with OSU colors in a blatant riff of official Ohio State gear/goods, is the case reasonable.
From the link  
Mike in Prescott : 8/14/2019 5:46 pm : link
"Ohio State has previously trademarked the names and likenesses of football coaches Woody Hayes and Urban Meyer as well as phrases like Script Ohio and The Shoe.

Common words and phrases can be trademarked if the seeker can prove a distinctive usage outside the traditional meaning."

I think they have a shot at this.
Ohio is such a joke  
Bold Ruler : Mod : 8/14/2019 5:57 pm : link
.
Ohio  
DCOrange : 8/14/2019 6:12 pm : link
"THE" Opioid Capital of the World. But let's focus on college football.
Michigan is trademarking 'of'  
Bold Ruler : Mod : 8/14/2019 6:14 pm : link
;)
When did the  
Pete in MD : 8/14/2019 6:52 pm : link
"The (Thee)" thing become a thing anyway? It always comes off as kind of stupid and obnoxious. There are many schools that start with "The", just like rock bands. Why emphasize it?
RE: When did the  
Mike in Prescott : 8/14/2019 6:54 pm : link
In comment 14530548 Pete in MD said:
Quote:
"The (Thee)" thing become a thing anyway? It always comes off as kind of stupid and obnoxious. There are many schools that start with "The", just like rock bands. Why emphasize it?


For years I've heard it emphasized by players doing the live intro to their alma mater on SNF/MNF.
RE: Fuck you.  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 8/14/2019 7:10 pm : link
In comment 14530445 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
Warmly,

The Bronx


Lol my first thought as well.
Michigan's response  
montanagiant : 8/14/2019 9:15 pm : link
So dumb  
jgambrosio : 8/14/2019 9:19 pm : link
how many colleges put "the" in front of their name and have nothing to do with OSU? Shit, I went to GW and they call it The George Washington University. Like they did that to copy Ohio State?
It's OK  
Sneakers O'toole : 8/14/2019 9:35 pm : link
They're going to be really fucked when they find out I trademarked the word Ohio.
Idiotic, but it's par for the course  
ChaChing : 8/14/2019 9:40 pm : link
The law isn't really about making sense of being fair, just who has money, who's shithead enough to chase down a result, and the asshole who is 'the authority' to allow it

Not about sense or logic, but who has the money, title, pull so all this shit comes to light and wastes a TON of time and money (really regardless of the result, it's fn stupid)

All that education, experience, certainly work ethic, and of course money...but not a lot actual legit thought

Simply put, you can't TM individual / generic names, letters, or numbers like that. It's fucking idiotic. Oh wait, but you can...
RE: Fuck you.  
flycatcher : 8/15/2019 8:15 am : link
In comment 14530445 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
Warmly,

The Bronx

Ha!
RE: RE: Fuck you.  
BronxBob : 8/15/2019 1:54 pm : link
In comment 14530557 Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy said:
Quote:
In comment 14530445 81_Great_Dane said:


Quote:


Warmly,

The Bronx



Lol my first thought as well.



Yeah ... except it's "Da" Bronx
And if they win ...  
BronxBob : 8/15/2019 1:58 pm : link
... which seems unlikely to me [ not an attorney ], won't they spend more money in lawsuits defending the copyright than they'd save by not having to protect it?
RE: And if they win ...  
Del Shofner : 8/15/2019 3:03 pm : link
In comment 14531290 BronxBob said:
Quote:
... which seems unlikely to me [ not an attorney ], won't they spend more money in lawsuits defending the copyright than they'd save by not having to protect it?


That's not how it will work (if it works at all). First, it's not a copyright, it's a trademark. They *definitely* can't copyright the word 'The' - it's not copyrightable for a variety of reasons. They are trying to trademark the word 'The' "for use on clothing and hats" as stated in the original post. So, only Ohio State would be able to use the word 'The' on clothing and hats without being subject to a suit for trademark infringement. The comparison to make in money terms is to compare the money they'll make having the exclusive right to use 'The' on clothing and hats to the legal fees they'll spend enforcing the trademark. My guess is that's a net positive for OSU.

All that said, however ... I think it's a long shot they'll get the trademark. Without getting into all the technicalities, it can be summed up by saying that the word 'The' is generic, to put it mildly, and is associated with many other schools and places as others have posted above.
Working on a Trademark Now  
jpennyva : 8/15/2019 8:06 pm : link
I have an application into the USPTO for my own business right now. It's my undersanding that they could try to trademark "The Ohio State University" as a name with the qualification that they are not seeking to keep others from also using the word "The" as part of their own names. So, it's not as far fetched as it first seems. They absolutely would not get approval were they trying to keep anyone else from using "The".
RE: Fuck you.  
jeff57 : 8/15/2019 9:37 pm : link
In comment 14530445 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
Warmly,

The Bronx


👏 👏 👏
RE: Working on a Trademark Now  
Del Shofner : 8/15/2019 11:05 pm : link
In comment 14531582 jpennyva said:
Quote:
I have an application into the USPTO for my own business right now. It's my undersanding that they could try to trademark "The Ohio State University" as a name with the qualification that they are not seeking to keep others from also using the word "The" as part of their own names. So, it's not as far fetched as it first seems. They absolutely would not get approval were they trying to keep anyone else from using "The".


You're right as to what they "could" do, but what they *are* doing is trying to trademark the word "THE." Here's a link to the application. So, it does seem to be as far-fetched as it first seemed.

Link - ( New Window )
RE: RE: Working on a Trademark Now  
jpennyva : 8/16/2019 9:23 am : link
In comment 14531747 Del Shofner said:
Quote:
In comment 14531582 jpennyva said:


Quote:


I have an application into the USPTO for my own business right now. It's my undersanding that they could try to trademark "The Ohio State University" as a name with the qualification that they are not seeking to keep others from also using the word "The" as part of their own names. So, it's not as far fetched as it first seems. They absolutely would not get approval were they trying to keep anyone else from using "The".



You're right as to what they "could" do, but what they *are* doing is trying to trademark the word "THE." Here's a link to the application. So, it does seem to be as far-fetched as it first seemed. Link - ( New Window )


Ah, I had not read the full application (the legalese involved with my own was enough to last a lifetime). Then that is a ridiculous waste of money, and trademark applications are not cheap, though the university no doubt has the money to waste on such things. The fact their attorneys are even trying to do it means it is 100% publicity stunt.
Would the infringement be if the T-shirt just said "The" by itself?  
Bill L : 8/16/2019 9:31 am : link
or would it include being a part of a phrase as well? Would it only be something school-related ("The University of Miami") or would something like "The Boss" be covered. And what if it appeared in the middle of a phrase instead of at the beginning ("University of the District of Columbia")?
RE: RE: I agree it's not happening, but just to play Devil's Advocate.  
Hades07 : 8/16/2019 11:59 am : link
In comment 14530491 uther99 said:
Quote:
In comment 14530487 Mike in Long Beach said:


Quote:


If someone is selling T-shirts with the slogan "THE best damn school in the land" and it's covered in scarlet and grey... and the THE is the centerpiece of the shirt and the reason people are buying it and associating it with Ohio State, is it not reasonable to say Ohio State should have the rights to that?

And full disclosure, I'm a Buckeye haha



Without the Scarlet and Grey that could be any school.
With scarlet and grey would it look much different the Washington state?

Back to the Corner