Oklahoma State to oppose Ohio State seeking 'OSU' trademark from government
Ohio State filed for apparel rights to 'OSU' in February 2017
In the eyes of the United States government, who has the claim to being the real "OSU" in college sports?
That's the issue at hand for Ohio State and Oklahoma State, following the Buckeyes' effort to trademark "OSU" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Oklahoma State plans to file a notice of opposition to the request. The school has until the end of August to file its opposition with the federal government, though administrators from both schools hope to see an agreement that will benefit both schools.
"OSU" doesn't belong exclusively to one school at the moment. The trademark has been shared through concurrent usage agreements with Oregon State included in those. The agreements take the federal trademark and award it on a state-by-state basis, and in the case of Iowa a county-by-county basis -- according to the Dispatch, Oklahoma State's trademark applies to 54 western counties and Ohio State's applies to 45 eastern ones.
"This isn't a conflict of schools," Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey said. "This is the type of item that arises from time to time in [administering] a trademark."
The existing trademark agreement for "OSU" applies to sports events and recreation programs, entertainment and education. The current debate -- where we assume new battle lines will be negotiated and drawn -- concerns apparel.
"We are constantly evaluating the licensing landscape to protect Oklahoma State University's interests," Oklahoma State's Gary Shutt told the Dispatch. "We look forward to talking to Ohio State about joint use and making sure our universities and our fans are best served."
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