COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Ohio State University’s Office of Trademark and Licensing office has been busy, issuing nearly 100 cease and desist letters over the last two years.
The letters are addressed to businesses who are accused of using university-owned trademarks to promote their business or sell merchandise.
Some notable examples include:
- In October 2015, the Florida Department of Citrus was asked to stop using a Block O in an orange juice ad.
- In February of 2016, Yellow Cab of Columbus received a letter for using Ohio Stadium in the background of an advertisement on Instagram.
- In August of 2016, a letter was sent to the Big Bang Bar after images of a BUCK ID and O-H-I-O silhouette were used in promotional material.
- Massey’s Pizza was asked to stop using a picture of Urban Meyer captioned “Hello my name is Urban and I am one bad mama jama.”
Other recipients of letters included a pizza shop, an orthodontist’s office, a craft store on Etsy, several radio stations and a number of bars across the country.
One recipient of a letter, Lamp Apparel, was eventually sued by the university.
Ohio State’s trademark licensing program is charged with regulating and protecting the university’s name and identifying marks.
Trademarks registered to the university include The Shoe, Buckeye Love, Urban Meyer, Woody Hayes, Script Ohio, and many others. The university also has trademarks on the scarlet and gray color scheme, Script Ohio, and the Block O logo.
Ohio State Assistant Vice President Rick Van Brimmer previously told NBC4 while the university could take many of the businesses to court immediately; they choose to instead send the letters.
“As the trademark owner, you have an obligation to protect your trademark,” VanBrimmer explained, adding, “If you don’t you can risk losing them. “