Ohio State University recently made Intellectual Property headlines by managing to procure a trademark registration for the word THE. The registration procured by Ohio State covers t-shirts, caps, and hats. Although the registration covers limited goods and services, that hasn’t stopped people from being outraged by the idea that a person or entity can obtain exclusive rights to use of the most commonly used word in the English language. But is it really that big of a deal? In my humble opinion, it is not.
Continue Reading Ohio State Successfully Registers the Word THE with the Trademark Office

Trademark law was developed to help protect a seller’s “brand” in connection with the marketing and labeling of products for sale to avoid “consumer confusion.” One rarely litigated aspect of trademark law is that the use of the trademark must be for a lawful purpose. The Ninth Circuit recently tackled this issue in AK Futures LLC v. Boyd Street Distro, LLC (decided May 19, 2022), a case that involved e-cigarette and vaping products derived from cannabis.
Continue Reading Trademark Protection and the Lawful Use Requirement