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Ohio State Seeks to Trademark “Woody Hayes”

The Ohio State University has filed a trademark application to protect its use of the name of Woody Hayes, the legendary coach of five national championship-winning Buckeye teams.

While this marks the second Ohio State coach whose name has been trademarked by the university — Urban Meyer’s name was officially registered a year ago — the need for the designation predates the Meyer registration by many years, said Rick Van Brimmer, director of trademark and licensing services at Ohio State.

“We’ve been using Woody’s image and name on products for years,” Van Brimmer said. “But we’ve had an increasing number of people using our marks. This helps us in the long run.”

The use of Hayes’ name “started very innocently, with ‘Woody’ on the back of a hat, which we called ‘the Woody Hat’ because it was the kind of hat he wore with the block ‘O’ on the front,” Van Brimmer said.

The trademark application is currently pending before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

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