Savvy entrepreneurs are looking to trademark various phrases associated with the anti-capitalist ‘Occupy’ demonstrations taking place around the world.
The Associated Press said in recent weeks the US Patent and Trademark Office has received a raft of applications from lawyers, merchandisers and others looking to mark commercial rights to phrases like “We are the 99 percent” and ”Occupy”.
As Occupy demos have sprung up – in locations like New York, London, Prague and Copenhagen – online shops and physical stalls were set up amid the camps, selling t-shirts, mugs and other merchandise emblazoned with Occupy slogans.
But these latest moves look like a more concerted effort to secure definitive rights to certain associated phrases.
However, while a growing number of retailers are seeking to capitalise on Occupy, the irony of it all is not lost on the protestors, who are keen to ensure their movement does not get swallowed up in capitalist desire.
AP said organizers of the protest in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park have filed for a trademark of “Occupy Wall Street”.
Wylie Stecklow, a lawyer representing them, told the news provider, “I would like to ensure that this isn’t co-opted for commercial purposes.
“The trademark can be used for non-commercial purposes.”