November 16, 2011
A recent story out on the AP wire highlights the newest phenomenon in trademark filings: the rush to trademark all things Occupy.
In recent weeks, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has received a spate of applications from enterprising merchandisers, lawyers and others seeking to win exclusive commercial rights to such phrases as “We are the 99 percent,” “Occupy” and “Occupy DC 2012.”
Organizers of the protest centered in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park went so far as to file for a trademark of “Occupy Wall Street” after several other applications connected to the demonstrations were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Wylie Stecklow, a lawyer representing the protesters, said the Oct. 24 filing was done to prevent profiteering from a movement many say is a protest of corporate greed.
“I would like to ensure that this isn’t coopted for commercial purposes,” Stecklow said. “The trademark can be used for noncommercial purposes.”
Stecklow’s application was one of three filed with the U.S. PTO seeking to trademark either “Occupy Wall Street” or “Occupy Wall St.”
2011 WLNR 22941622
You can also limit your search to US filings. In FED-TM, try
tm(!occupy! !ninety-nine-percent! !99%! !wall-street! !1%! !one-percent!)
Note that with this search, we’re using root expanders at the beginning of each term — wouldn’t want to miss the application for de-occupy. View your result list as a sortable table and export the data to an Excel file . This should allow you to analyze the data. Here, for example is a pie chart of the 2011 ‘Occupy’ marks organized by international class:
For purposes of this research, however, what’s more interesting is who might be filing these applications and when they’ve been filed. According to an article from American University Washington College of Law’s Intellectual Property Brief, some second-comers might be 1-percenters.
Fer-Eng Investments appears to be a shell corporation with the only officer named as “The Ferraro-Eng Family Trust.” The names provided on the address refer to Vincent Ferraro and Wee Nah Eng. Interestingly enough, Ferraro, a Stanford Business School grad, is the former Vice-President of Worldwide Marketing for Hewlett-Packard, where he met his wife Wee Nah Eng. Ferraro now serves as the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Global Marketing for Eastman Kodak, and also appears to hold several consulting positions. Now, I don’t know what type of compensation Ferraro receives, but based on his title, position, and impressive (publicly accessible) Linkedin resume, I would be willing to give anyone 10:1 odds that the Ferraro-Eng household is bringing in enough to meet the $380K a year threshold for the “top 1%.”
Coincidentally, there have also been 52 filings for “tea party” in ALLTM.