College Football

Ohio State Seeks to Trademark the Word “The”

ESPN.comOhio 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.

I guess….Ughh…I guess I could just add my “Idiocracy” introduction to every blog I write now. Certainly to this one.

We’ve all heard it. Some love it and feel it encapsulates the pure spirit and bonds of college sports. Some hate it and see it as a pretentious thumb of the nose from a school that has a number of very solid programs but only reaches truly great heights once a decade or so. Personally I’m just not bought into college sports (save hockey) enough to give a fuck.

I am of course talking about THE Ohio State University.

For the life of me I can’t imagine how this got started. I suppose there was Ohio State and Ohio University. Maybe way back when there were a couple of different state school systems in Ohio and one decided to stick it’s tongue and/or denoting article out at the other. Who knows (probably every fucking rabid Ohio State fan).

Anyway, it would seem Ohio State sees it as such an important part of their identity that they now wish to copyright the word “The” in order to financially capitalize on what is probably the most used word in the English language.

There are just too many questions to get into with this but my main ones are:

1.) Did Ohio State really think they were going to get away with this?
2.) …Wait are they?

It SHOULD NOT be possible for Ohio State to own the word “the.” I get that they are sort of trying to protect their signature propensity to add it douchebaggedly to the beginning of their name, but let’s be reasonable. If Washington State realllly wants to start going by THE Washington State then go ahead and let then. They’ll be ridiculed and derided into stopping the practice faster than Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf’s average 40 time. It’s Ohio State’s thing, and, begrudgingly or not, people get that.

But you have to imagine that such a huge school has a team of lawyers, etc. who know this stuff. So do they actually have a shot? Are we in danger of losing the word the? No other school or semi-competing entity could use that on merch etc.? What a bonkers thing to think about.

Anyway, we’ll see how this plays out. Hopefully US Patent law has sections dedicated to, idk, colleges copyrighting extremely popular words used in titles and beginnings of sentences. If not I might have to hate Mike Vrabel.

-Joey B.

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