Looks like it’s going to be just plain old Ohio State University.
The US Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday rejected an application from the Buckeyes to trademark the word “the” for it’s trinkets and merchandise.
But the federal office said the word is essentially too common and too commonly used for one entity to have domain over it — even if it is just for sweaters and coffee mugs.
“Registration is refused because the applied-for mark as used on the specimen of record is merely a decorative or ornamental feature of applicant’s clothing and, thus, does not function as a trademark to indicate the source of applicant’s clothing and to identify and distinguish applicant’s from others,” the notice from the trademark office said.
The application was filed Aug. 8, and included a rendering of what the merchandise would look for — it showed a Buckeye blue T-shirt with the word “THE” in huge letters over the school’s logo.
The school, which has one of the largest and most successful athletic programs in the collegiate world, trademarked the word “Ohio” years earlier strictly for merchandising purposes.
Officials at the university did not respond to a request for comment.