Despite the anarchistic tendencies of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the heavy anti-capitalist and corporate principles in which the movement might believe, some members of the movement have nonetheless applied for Federal trademark protection, an enormously profit seeking capitalist venture. The big one, “Occupy Wall Street,” had an application filed by a group of New Yorkers in late October 2011 and contemplates using the phrase on clothing, accessories, periodicals (both print and digital), and presentations. A competing application for “Occupy Wall Street” was filed by an investment firm in Arizona, with it’s owner, a Mr. Vince Ferraro, stating “[trademarks] are the chattel of the 21st century.” Not to be out done, a third trademark application has also been filed for “Occupy Wall St.”
Additional searches yield similar results. A variety of trademarks applications have been filed up for “We are the 99%,” “I am the 99%,” and “Occupy __________” (please insert your cities name, if it’s a big one someone has filed it already). Lastly, websites selling “Occupy” gear are popping up all over the Internet. We would link to a few sites to show some examples, but we don’t want to lead you astray as some of these shops donate to the “movement” and others most certainly do not and donate exclusively to their owner’s wallet.
What this teaches us is simple. Mr. Ferraro nailed it on the head when he identified intellectual property as being the chattel of the new digital world. Without protection to use a name in commerce, a person has no chance of stopping others from using a powerful name, logo, or slogan out in the marketplace. By reason of further example, it should come to no surprise that two days after U.S. Navy Seal force “Seal Team Six,” carried out its mission to eliminate Osama Bin Laden, Disney registered a trademark for you guessed it, “Seal Team Six.” Expect the movie to come out within the next few years and Disney to profit greatly.
Bradley Legal Group, P.A. are Intellectual Property lawyers, Entertainment lawyers and Music lawyers servicing clients in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Nashville. We also affiliate with entertainment lawyers licensed in New York and Washington, D.C. © 2012 Bradley Legal Group, P.A.