My family is as diehard Ohio State fans as they come, and even they consider this ridiculously pretentious.
The word “the” is one of the most common words in the English language, if not THE most common word. It’s also a source of pride in the Buckeye State when it comes to THE Ohio State University, with the stressing of the word “the” causing most outside of the extended Buckeye Nation to bristle and/or throw up a little in their mouths.
In that vein, OSU confirmed to the Columbus Dispatch that it has submitted a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark would apply to “the word ‘The’ when used in conjunction with the university’s name on items marketed for sale,” the Dispatch wrote.
The university filed its application with the government agency Aug. 8 of this year.
“Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” an OSU spokesperson told the newspaper in a statement.
“These assets hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and the broader community by supporting our core academic mission of teaching and research.”
As noted by ESPN.com, “[c]ommon words and phrases can be trademarked if the seeker can prove a distinctive usage outside the traditional meaning.”