Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The Ohio State University is attempting to trademark the word "The," one of the most common words in the English language.
The filing was made Thursday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Trademark serial number 88571984 stipulates the use of the word "The" when used with the school's name on clothing, T-shirts, baseball caps and hats.
Ohio State had former coach Urban Meyer's name was trademarked in 2015. The school had Woody Hayes' name trademarked in 2016. Ohio State requested a trademark for the acronym OSU in 2017, but agreed to split the name with Oklahoma State University.
"Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university's brand and trademarks," Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey said in a statement, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
"These assets hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and the broader community by supporting our core academic mission of teaching and research."
Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben tweeted a video analyzing the trademark application, saying he thinks it's "likely" the school will be refused on its initial application. He cited merchandise on the school's online team store, which featured the word "The," without mentioning the rest of the school's name.
"In order for a trademark to be registered for a brand of clothing, the trademark must be used in a trademarked fashion," Gerben said. "In other words, it has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products. In this case, just putting the word 'the' on the front of a hat or on the front of a shirt is not sufficient trademark use."
The word "the" is used about for five out of every 100 words, according to the Google Ngram viewer, which tells users how often words are used over time span based on the Google Books database. Conversely, the word "of" is used for four out of every 100 words, while "and" is used for nearly three out of every 100 words.
The "The" in The Ohio State University was part of state legislation when the school was renamed in 1978. The school -- founded in 1870 -- was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College and opened in 1873.