There's only one "O" in the alphabet and Ohio State wants it.
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The $7 billion university, widely recognized by its bold, block-shaped red “O” logo (the one worn by the Ohio State Buckeyes), is embroiled in a heated legal dispute with sports-website Overtime Sports.
The university, which filed a cease-and-desist letter to the site this year, claims their logos are too similar.
Now, the New York-based online network is punching back by suing Ohio State and seeking a legal declaration for the continued use of its logo, a rounded black-and-white “O.” The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York early this week.
The “differences between the parties’ trademarks and manners of use prevent any likelihood of confusion," according to court documents. "There are numerous 'O' marks, 'O'-formative marks, and 'O' designs in use by third parties in connection with the relevant goods and services, such that consumers will not presume that all goods and services offered under 'O' or 'O'-formative marks emanate from a common source.”
Overtime Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business but said in the suit that Ohio State “has been coexisting with Overtime without any confusion and without preventing either Ohio State or Overtime from maintaining goodwill and commercial impressions in their respective marks.”
The site also applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this year to register its logo.
While Ohio State said it does not comment on pending litigation, a spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement that it “works to protect the university’s brand and trademarks because these assets hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and the broader community by supporting teaching, research and service.
“Licensing royalties are earmarked to support the student experience at Ohio State by funding scholarships and programming,” the spokesperson said, adding that total licensing revenue last year was more than $15 million and that total revenue since 1980 is more than $200 million.
The suit by Overtime Sports seeks a trial by jury and any applicable compensation.