I know what you are thinking. "Why would I care about anything related to Ohio State?" Ok, my Wolverine ego may be slightly kidding, but in all seriousness, this trademark question is significant because the outcome can affect other universities. For example, what if in addition to the list of registered marks like the Standalone Block M, the University of Michigan attempted to file an application for "U of M" or "UM" to be a federal registered trademark (®) rather than asserting that it is merely a protected trademark that is not registered (™)?
In a world where college athletics is undeniably a business - a BIG business, at that - and where the NCAA itself has trouble justifying its own regulations, laying down the law on who can do what actions (that, FYI, all come down to making money) and where they can or cannot do those actions lawfully will have inevitable consequences. For those of you who have not heard, Ohio State filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for "OSU" to receive federal trademark protection back in February. Specifically, Ohio State wants to register its trademark to protect against unlawful uses on apparel. Each portion of the application information below is meaningful. So, take note, because we will define trademarks, draw out their metes and bounds, speculate on why Ohio State would file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and demonstrate how the Battle of the OSUs can impact the business of college athletics.Read More