Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Instead of facing off on the athletic fields, Ohio State University and Oklahoma State University are currently engaged in a different contest - a trademark dispute before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Earlier this year, Oklahoma State signaled its objection to Ohio State's trademark application seeking to protect the use of the mark "OSU" on shirts, hats, and baseball caps.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Ohio State University, which already owns a host of trademarks, filed an application in February with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to trademark “OSU,” specifically on clothing and apparel.

But another university that holds the acronym near and dear is stepping in.

Oklahoma State University filed for an extension with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, indicating it plans to file a notice of opposition to the trademark request. The office approved that request, granting Oklahoma State until the end of August to file its objection.

These actions are a normal part of the trademark application process. The application timeline includes a period of public notice designed to permit other parties who believe they may have a claim to the mark to object to the mark's registration. 

When an objection is filed, the parties often try to resolve the matter informally through a shared use agreement.  In this case, the universities are expected to reach an settlement which is mutually acceptable to both OSUs.