You’ve probably heard more than you really want to about the Occupy Wall Street movement, or similar Occupy protests that are going on in cities near you. But this piece of news is interesting just because it’s about a couple people with a whole lot of nerve, or business savvy, depending on the way you look at it.

Robert and Diane Maresca of West Islip, New York, have recently filed to trademark the slogan “Occupy Wall St.” Over at CNN is a good Q & A feature about trademarks in this context.

The Marescas intend to sell sweatshirts, T-shirts, bumper stickers and hobo bags with the slogan on them. Nothing is stopping them from doing that right now, but the difference is once they get the trademark, they’d be the only people legally allowed to do it.

I’m sure I’m not the first person who sees this act as going completely against the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is specifically against capitalism, or at least, against the way capitalism has operated in the United States.

Robert Maresca has been quoted as saying his beliefs are in line with Occupy’s, and they should be happy he’s doing this, as the trademark could have been scooped up by one of those evil 1%’ers. He also said he’s willing to sell the trademark to members of the movement for only $1, as long as they repay his expenses (which could be a decent amount).

Even if the Marescas feel the Occupy movement should be supportive of their trademark application, I think this is just bad visually. A ™ on something almost always implies a business, like a corporation. Corporations imply capitalism. I don’t think the people camping out in the Occupy movement are going to buy into that. If the Marescas really wanted to protect the movement’s integrity by preventing the mark from getting in another’s hands, they should do nothing if the mark is approved. Don’t say you’re on their side and then try and sell them a bumper sticker.

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