The Ohio State University filed a trademark for the word “The” earlier this month.
Josh Gerben was quoted by NBC News discussing the filing and chances of whether it gets registered:
Application No. 88571984, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, was discovered and publicized Tuesday by Josh Gerben, a prominent trademark lawyer in Washington.
“For a trademark to be registered for a brand of clothing, the trademark “must be used in a trademarked fashion,” […] “In other words, it has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products.”
“In this case, just putting the word ‘the’ on the front of a hat or on the front of a shirt is not sufficient trademark use,”.
The Ohio State University has filed a trademark application on the word “THE.”
The filing, made on August 8th, indicates #OhioState is offering a brand of “THE” clothing.
Not sure how ‘The U’ will feel about this one.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 13, 2019
Source: Johnson, A. “‘The’ Ohio State University wants to trademark the word ‘THE'”. NBCNews.com. August 13 2019