Ohio State University Is Attempting To Trademark The Word “The”

The Application Was Discovered By Trademark Lawyer, Josh Gerben

August 14, 2019

Joe Robbins / Stringer

Back in 2006, the world laughed as Paris Hilton attempted to trademark her commonly used catchphrase, “that’s hot.” Now, there’s a new champion for most ridiculous attempt at a trademark. Ohio State University is attempting to trademark the work “The” for use on t-shirts, baseball caps and hats.

The application was first discovered by trademark lawyer, Josh Gerben. Application number 88571984 was filed on Thursday, and according to Gerben, “this application has issues out of the gate.” Gerben said in a video posted to twitter that the use of the word on clothing is not sufficient. “It has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products,” said Gerben.

Ohio State University is commonly referred to as “THE Ohio State University,” especially by notable alumni, including professional athletes. Josh Gerben said he believes the initial application will be refused by the US Patent and Trademark Office, but the school could still have a chance at success with their trademark. This is bad news for other schools that use “The” in their nicknames, such as the University of Miami, or anyone who wants to emphasize the word “The.”