Can you trademark THE?

August 20, 2019

In the believe it or not category.

 

The Ohio State University recently filed a trademark application for the word THE as a trademark for use on "Clothing, namely, t-shirts, baseball caps and hats" (see TSDR link for application serial number 88571984). 

 

Yes.  You got that correct.  They filed for a trademark application for the most common word in the English language (see Wikipedia link). 

 

I suspect the USPTO is not likely to register this trademark because it is a standard character mark.  If they had filed a design mark (logo) for the word THE, it would have increased the likelihood the USPTO would register the mark.

 

 

Photo by Martin Kalfatovic licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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