Many people have watched the spontaneous “Occupy Wall Street” protests and have been inspired and moved to action. Robert and Diane Maresca are two of those people but not quite in the way intended. The Long Island couple has filed a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application to cash in on the movement and claim ‘Occupy Wall St.” as a global brand name for merchandise and marketing.
I have long objected to the expansion of our trademark and copyright laws to allow this type of conduct, which is nothing short of profiteering and undermines free speech.
The application was made in Diane Maresca’s name at a cost of $975, but Robert Maresca, 44, has been out front defending their action. She is an occupational therapist and he describes himself as a conservative and former ironworker. He says that he was disabled by a stroke and seizures.
When confronted with the obvious lack of morality or decency in his actions, Maresca offered the world’s oldest excuse of despicable conduct: “If I didn’t buy it and use it someone else will.”
He did say, however, that he was disappointed to learn that a Brooklyn man had filed for a trademark for “We Are The 99%,” but felt that he could make more money off of “Occupy” as a brand. He has already inked some t-shirts with magic markers to start to cash in on the movement.
Source: Smoking Gun