The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied an initial attempt by the Ohio State University to trademark the word "the."

Darren Rovell of the Action Network reported the update Wednesday. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben provided further information about the ruling.

The school made the filing in August in an effort to use "the" on apparel, including T-shirts and hats. Alumni often refer to OSU by stressing the article in "the Ohio State University," which is the baseline for the application. The university presents its name as "The Ohio State University."