Another entity drops application for logo similar to Ohio State’s

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2019 | Business Litigation

Ohio State University has staved off yet another challenge to its Block O trademark. A Florida-based apparel company decided not to proceed with its application to trademark a Block O that had the word “Orlando” written across the bottom of the letter O. The Florida company had submitted paperwork to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in June for a trademark and stated that the letter O was for Orlando. The company had intended to market hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts and other merchandise with the logo in red and white hues, similar to Ohio State’s school colors. On Jan. 2, Ohio State lawyers were given 30 days to oppose the trademark application. Instead, the Florida company chose to pursue an “express abandonment filing,” according to its attorney. Ohio State chose not to comment on the application to the news media. According to information the university has shared in interviews through the years, Ohio State has used the Block O logo for nearly 125 years – since 1898. Ohio State’s logo is recognizable throughout the world, largely because of its football team, which the Wall Street Journal recently valued as worth more than $1 billion. This is the second time in recent months that Ohio State has headed off applications for trademarks similar to its Block O. In September, the University of Oklahoma sought to trademark an image that showed its marching band drum major dressed in a uniform that had a Block O logo emblazoned on the chest. Oklahoma also officially abandoned its trademark application. Logos are a valuable part of a successful venture, whether it is a business, university or sports team. Ohio State is right to challenge any trademark applications that could cause confusion with its brand.