Sports | August 14, 2019 10:05 am

Ohio State Trademarking “The” With U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

OSU is seeking a trademark on the word "The" for use on clothing and hats

Ohio State Trademarking "The" With US Patent and Trademark Office
The Ohio State Buckeyes preparing to take the field. (Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ohio State is trying to cash in on the somewhat funny/somewhat annoying tradition of ex-Buckeyes saying they used to play for “The Ohio State University” during introductions on NFL broadcasts in a very simple way: by trademarking the “The.”

According to a patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, OSU, formally known as The Ohio State University, is seeking a trademark on the word “The” for use on clothing and hats.

“Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” university spokesman Chris Davey told The Columbus Dispatch. “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.”

Though former OSU players like Cris Carter and Eddie George may be better remembered for introducing themselves as playing for “The” Ohio State University, ex-Buckeye running back Robert Smith claims he was the player who started the tradition.

“It is true,” Smith said on the Big Ten Network in 2016. “It was the official name of the university and they made a point in around 1994 to emphasize it.”

If the trademark gets approved, maybe Smith should get a cut of the future profits.

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