Gerben said the application had "issues out of the gate"; pointing out that for a trademark to work, the word has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products — you can't just slap 'The' on a hat and expect trademark protection.
"It's a little surprising the university would not have been a little bit more sophisticated in the specimens that they submitted with their application here," he said. "It's sort of trademarks 101."
He said The Ohio State were "likely to receive an initial refusal for their application".
Chris Deavey, a spokesman for the university, told The Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday that it's important to "vigorously protect the university's brand and trademarks."
As Twitter users began to debate whether or not the uni was being pompous, the word "The" began trending on Twitter; but because the trend tracker picks up every instance of the word, it obviously rocketed to the top of the trendsmap with millions and millions of tweets.