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Harmon Leon


Occupy Wall Street: The Brand!

Posted: 10/26/2011 5:22 pm

You have to figure it was only a matter of time before it happened.

According to CNN, a Long Island couple wants to trademark the slogan "Occupy Wall Street" with the intent to sell sweatshirts, t-shirts, bumper stickers and hobo bags. (What the hell is a hobo bag?)

"I'm no marketing genius, but when you got something that's across 50 states, it's a brand now," said Robert Maresca of West Islip, New York. Maresca's wife, Diane, filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on October 18 and paid a fee of $975.

What a perfect scheme to represent a protest that's against corporate greed; by branding it with t-shirts that could be sold at Urban Outfitters. Now the disenfranchised can become a franchise; with a sole individual make 99% of the profit on the 99%. Has Mr. Maresca of West Islip missed the point by wanting to trademark a demonstration on anti-capitalist ideals -- by engaging in a fundamental capitalist activity?

Numerous sites on the web are already cashing in on 9-17-2011. For $23.95, you can let your voice be heard by wearing the printed message on the front of your shirt. Hmmm, what to choose:

A 99% t-shirt that shows your radical side with an edgy font.

A patriotic mix that relays a profound statement with wry sense of humor.

Or a block lettered, "I don't take crap from anyone" version of the 99%. The site states, "You can show your solidarity with the enemies of capitalism by purchasing t-shirts, panties, bumper stickers and coffee mugs from Cafe Press."

Support the revolution with a brand new t-shirt you can maybe one day buy at Target.

Why stop there? How about a "We Are the 99%" coffee mug? (Available for $15.) I heard you get free refills at Starbucks if you bring this in. If played right, Occupy Wall Street could become a bigger brand than Burning Man -- with corporations such as Wal-Mart making millions off the 99% and their clothing needs.

Do you have an idea for an ideal piece of Occupy Wall Street merchandise? Let's hear it below.

Editor's Note: An original version of this post misstated that a T-shirt could be purchased at Target. The author of this post intended for the statement to be hypothetical. The post has been edited to reflect this.


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