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Ohio State trademarks the word 'THE'

An Ohio State University sign.
Angie Wang

Ohio State has received a trademark for the word 'THE' on branded products associated with and sold through athletic and collegiate channels.

The university initially filed for a trademark in 2019 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after apparel designer Marc Jacobs applied to trademark 'THE.' Last year the parties reached an agreement to allow both to register 'the' branded products for their own items.

OSU spokesman Ben Johnson said the trademark and licensing program generates more than $12 million in annual revenue. That money funds student scholarships and university programs.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.