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Ohio State trademarks 'THE,' and Michigan fans have thoughts: 'This is very stupid'

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 6/22/2022 Chandler Engelbrecht, Detroit Free Press
Ohio State University regularly uses the definitive article "The" in front of its name, as seen here in the university seal embedded in the pavement at the east entrance to the Oval on the main campus in Columbus. © Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch Ohio State University regularly uses the definitive article "The" in front of its name, as seen here in the university seal embedded in the pavement at the east entrance to the Oval on the main campus in Columbus.

If Michigan football fans are looking for more reasons to be annoyed by their rivals to the south, they're in luck.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office officially approved Ohio State's request to trademark the word 'THE' on Tuesday, allowing the university to control the use of the grammatical article on clothing, namely “t-shirts, baseball caps and hats."

As highlighted in a Twitter thread by trademark attorney Josh Gerben, OSU first applied for the trademark in August 2019. At first, the USPTO refused the trademark, deeming it ornamental and because an existing application by clothing company Marc Jacobs had been filed months earlier for the word.

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Just under three years later, the USPTO has changed its mind, and Ohio State and Marc Jacobs have agreed to have joint registration for the word.

After reports of the trademark surfaced, college football fans quickly took to Twitter to offer their thoughts. Of course, they weren't all positive. 


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Chandler Engelbrecht is a reporting intern at The Detroit Free Press and can be reached at CEngelbrecht@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @ctengelbrecht.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ohio State trademarks 'THE,' and Michigan fans have thoughts: 'This is very stupid'

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