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Ohio State University embroiled in multiple trademark disputes

Ohio State University is embroiled in multiple trademark disputes with casinos and other colleges across the state. In an effort to protect its likeness, the university has gone after a casino that decided to use the university's nickname for its stadium, "The Shoe." The school also filed documents in an effort to trademark the abbreviation OSU for apparel and the name "The Oval."

A settlement was reached earlier this month between the school and Caesars Entertainment regarding use of "The Shoe." A lawsuit was filed by the school in February against Caesars' Horseshoe Casino for use of the name. In 2015, the casino wanted to name its music venue "The Shoe," but the school raised objections.

In February, the school filed for the rights to use OSU for apparel. Oklahoma State University said that it would fight that filing by late August. A third school, Oregon State, also uses that abbreviation. All three schools hold trademark rights state-by-state.

Also in February, the school filed to trademark "The Oval" for an image and for the name, not for the shape. The school already uses it on various apparel, but wants the added protection that comes with the trademark.

Over the last four years the school has issued 100 cease and desist letters to businesses for alleged trademark infringement and copyright infringement.

The school holds a number of trademarks, including the following:

  • Helmet leaf
  • Buckeye stripe
  • Script Ohio
  • Football uniforms both home and away
  • Names associated with the school (Fisher College of Business, WOSU, The James and more)

Business litigation involving trademark infringement is a confusing topic that can be clearly explained by an experienced attorney in the city of Cincinnati.

Source: The Lantern, "Ohio State wrapped up in several ongoing trademark disputes," Summer Cartwright, Matt Dorsey and Owen Daugherty, July 27, 2017

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