The Ohio State University has filed a trademark application for the word "The."
According to online records from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark was filed on August 8.
The university claimed the trademark was for use on clothing, mainly t-shirts, baseball caps and hats.
The university also submitted some examples of how "THE" is being used on hats and shirts.
Gerben predicted the trademark application will be denied, at least initially. He explained that for a trademark to be registered for a brand of clothing, it has to be used in a "trademark fashion," such as on "tagging or labeling" for the products.
"In this case, just putting the word 'The' on the front of the hat or on the front of a shirt is not sufficient trademark use," Gerben said.
He added that the university will have a chance to fix the application and "get it right."