COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University has lost its fight to trademark the word “The.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office turned down the university’s request to trademark “The” when used as part of the school’s name on university merchandise.
OSU submitted the trademark application last month.
The patent office cited the trademark appears to be used for “merely decorative manner” and as an “ornamental feature” that doesn’t appear to function as a trademark that would differentiate the items from others.
The school requested for it to be put on various items including T-shirts, baseball caps and hats.
The office says the university will have to prove the trademark would allow consumers to directly associate the goods with their brand.
OSU says they are reviewing their options and will respond in six months.