THE OSU has been approved as a trademark.

A trademark for "THE" has been registered by the Ohio State University. You wouldn't think you could do that for most English words. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected OSU's trademark because it was a "merely ornamental feature."

tOSU convinced them that it was not ornamental, but fundamental to their merchandising, and they can now sell licensed OSU gear with the word "THE" on it.

A trademark doesn't stop industries that don't compete with your business from using the word It would be difficult for either party to argue that they are in the same industry.

When Ohio State first filed for a trademark, they said it would support their core academic mission of teaching and research and that they would get money from the sale of trademarked merchandise.

Their in-state brother school is now called The Ohio University. Ohio University was founded almost 70 years before Ohio State. The "THE" was taken from under them. The state of Ohio is involved in crime.

The school is not the first to do this. Texas A&M gained ownership of the 12th man's handles on social media. The school paid for the use of "12th Man", as well as the trademark "12th".