Ohio State’s Block ‘O’ logo is one of the most recognizable logos in American sports. And because of that, Ohio State is protective of that trademark. So when it was discovered that Overtime Sports Inc. had an ‘O’ logo of their own, Ohio State issued a cease and desist letter to the high school sports streaming site.
In response, Overtime Sports has filed a lawsuit Monday as they seek “a legal declaration allowing the continued use of its ‘O’ mark,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
This stems from a difference of opinion on whether or not the two logos are similar. Ohio State is trying to say that because Overtime Sports has to do with sports and has an ‘O’ for their logo, it’s going to cause confusion among the public. That and with a similar logo, there’s a possibility that Overtime Sports would in some way profit from having a similar but different logo and if they can do it, others may follow suit. That’s one reason why the school tried, and failed, to trademark the word “The” earlier this year.
Overtime Sports is trying to say that because their logo has a different color and shape, it’s unique enough that the average person wouldn’t confuse the two logos.
Overtime Sports applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this year to register its “O” mark, described in court documents as “distinctive in large part to its sloping corners within each of its concentric shapes, which contrast with the sharp-cornered rectangle at its center.”
Trademarks used by OSU, on the other hand, “feature an octagonal shape in each of its concentric shapes,” the company alleged in court documents. “They contain neither any rounded edge nor any rectangle.”
Ohio State offered a compromise where Overtime Sports would phase out its logo over time (no pun intended) but Overtime Sports wouldn’t go for that and the two sides are heading to court. Overtime Sports maintain that their logo isn’t inviting any confusion and given that Ohio State can potentially sue at any time over the logo, they just went ahead and filed the lawsuit in hopes of the Justice system coming up with a resolution.