Trademark dispute over the letter “O”

| Jan 2, 2020 | Trademark Law |

New Jersey residents may be familiar with the sports video sharing platform Overtime.tv. The website, which is popular with teenage athletes and sports fans, uses a simple letter “O” as its logo. When Overtime attempted to have its logo trademarked, it became involved in a legal battle with Ohio State University.

Ohio State also uses the letter “O” in its marketing, and on July 26, lawyers for the college asked Overtime to cancel its pending trademark application. According to Ohio State, the “O” used by Overtime is likely to be confused with the “O” that the school has used for a very long time. The university also sent a formal letter to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board opposing Overtime’s trademark application.

In response, Overtime has filed a lawsuit against Ohio State, asking a Federal District Court in New York to deny the college the ability to restrict Overtime’s use of its version of “O.” Lawyers for Overtime allege that “O” is used by many other entities in the sports world, and Ohio State’s “O” is just one of many similar marks. In a past case, Ohio State also tried to trademark the word “The.”

Companies sometimes have similar names or symbols, but when the similarity causes confusion with consumers, this can be a problem for business. A trademark law attorney may be able to help a business owner to determine whether another company’s use of a certain symbol or word violates a trademark. If a business owner has not yet trademarked its logos or catch phrases, an attorney may be able to help with this process.

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