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.
Follow Harmon Leon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/harmonleon