THE Ohio State University finally stands to profit from that infamous first word.
The university now has the rights to use the word on clothing — namely t-shirts, baseball caps and hats.
Originally filed in September 2019, the request wasn’t approved until recently, as the United States Patent and Trademark Office said the trademark was “merely ornamental” and that clothing company Marc Jacobs had applied for “THE” months before.
Initially, Ohio State opposed Marc Jacobs’ application but eventually settled with the clothing company in an August 2021 agreement that allowed both entities to use the word on apparel.
After that, it took almost a year to clean up the “merely ornamental” issue, leading to the trademark’s approval.
Perhaps the university could use “THE” for co-branded NIL products: OSU athletes have inked more than 1,000 NIL deals in the last year.