Hmmmm. In a way I'm surprised, but not surprised. Apparently a Long Island couple is looking to trademark the name "Occupy Wall Street," citing the movement's potential to become a global brand. According to The Smoking Gun:
In a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application, Robert and Diane Maresca are seeking to trademark the phrase “Occupy Wall St.” so that they can place it on a wide variety of goods, including bumper stickers, shirts, beach bags, footwear, umbrellas, and hobo bags.
The October 18 filing, made in Diane Maresca’s name, cost the couple $975, which Robert Maresca, 44, termed “something of a gamble” in a TSG interview.
Maresca, pictured at right, lives with his wife, an occupational therapist, and three children in West Islip ... asked if his move to stake a legal claim to “Occupy Wall Street” might be seen as a crass attempt to cash in on a movement that has a harsh view of corporations and capitalism, Maresca answered, “No.” Noting that he has a “practical business side,” Maresca added that, “If I didn’t buy it and use it someone else will.”
For the record, I support OWS. High unemployment, a too-big-to-fail mentality and corporations using bailout funds to line their own pockets with bonuses as a reward for screwing the economy faster than two jack rabbits hopped up on speed are things we should all be speaking out against. And while we're on the subject, I don't believe any company in a capitalist system should be too big to fail. After a certain amount of assistance had been given, the government should've told AIG, Fannie and Freddie and the rest of them to get off the teat and fend for themselves. After all isn't that Republican gospel? And don't even get me started on the supposed 53% 'backlash,' which really seems to be a band of fools who have deluded themselves into thinking massa in the Big House actually cares about them and that working yourself to death and having nothing to show for it is some kind of noble, all-American sacrifice. But I digress.
However, this branding talk makes me a little uneasy. Part of the reason I feel OWS has succeeded so far is because it has operated outside of the mainstream. It has been an organic, grassroots movement born out of real anger at how messed up things are in our country right now, and has spread through alternate channels like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, free from the reach of media and pundits, who want to define and categorize it as another version of the "Us vs. Them," conservative vs. liberal divide that has been American politics for the past decade.
In the interest of disclosure, yes I do work in the (very local) media (chile I'm light years away from working for Brian Williams), but I'm talking about those who want to water the movement down into a 30-second soundbite for the 24-hour news cycle, in lieu of doing real investigation.
Anyway, my fear is that this trademark, which will not likely make a dent in the long haul--Maresca doesn't seem all that powerful and influential--could inspire others to do the same, turning OWS from something with the potential to truly shake things up into the latest trend. Pain and frustration could simply be funneled into another fad to be co-opted by corporations, sold to consumers and tossed aside. I can see XXX-sized, airbrushed t-shirts being sold at gas-stations, "real" housewives clutching "99 percent" handbags and vacuous queens pumping down the street with glittery fitted tees that say "Occupy Me Bitch" now....
Read the whole article HERE.