The Ohio State University had its application to trademark "The" tentatively denied by the U.S. Trademark Office on Wednesday.
"The applied-for mark appears to be used in a merely decorative manner that would be perceived by consumers as having little or no particular source-identifying significance," the Trademark Office concluded.
The Trademark Office will allow Ohio State to alter its application to have the trademark request reconsidered.
The application submitted in August was to allow OSU to trademark the use of "The" on clothing using standard characters, without claim to any particular font style, size, or color.