COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--"The" Ohio State University is defending the move to file for a trademark for "The".
Director of Trademarks and Licensing, Rick Van Brimer, says the word is part of the culture of Ohio State, with the name of the school changing in 1878, from Ohio A&M.
Brimer says the trademark application is due to the emergence of licensing of merchandise with just the word, using Ohio State's official colors, scarlet and grey, which are also trademarked by the university.
Critics were quick to chastize the university over the latest trademark application, and even prompting the school's biggest rival to joke about trademarking "of".
Van Brimer says the emphasis on "The" started with former NFL player Robert Smith, who introduced his school as "The" Ohio State University during sports broadcasts.
Ohio State also holds trademarks and licensing for images like Script Ohio, Woody, O-H-I-O, and The Best Damn band in the Land.
Experts say Ohio State's application will likely be rejected.