The Ohio State University (OSU) has successfully fought for trademark protection for the three-letter article “the,” which they assert is essential to the establishment of the school’s identity, for almost three years. The word contributes about $12.5 million in annual sales and much more in emotional capital to students, alumni, and fans, according to Ben Johnson, OSU’s senior director of media and public relations. The announcement was made on June 21 after the US Patent and Trademark Office approved the university’s application for a trademark of the word.
According to NBC, the senior director made the following statement on Wednesday, June 22: “‘The’ has been a rallying cry in the Ohio State community for many years, and Buckeye fans who buy official Ohio State gear support student scholarships, libraries, and other university initiatives.” He also said that the university registered the word as a trademark to protect its brand.
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What does the trademark document say?