DOCUMENT: Investigation

L.I. Couple Seeks Trademark For "Occupy Wall St."

Pair sees protest's "potential to be a global brand"

Occupy Wall Street

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Occupy Wall St. TM

OCTOBER 24--Citing the potential of “Occupy Wall Street” to become a “global brand,” a Long Island couple has filed to trademark the name of the amorphous organization responsible for the protests and encampments in lower Manhattan and other U.S. cities, The Smoking Gun has learned.

In a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application, Robert and Diane Maresca are seeking to trademark the phrase “Occupy Wall St.” so that they can place it on a wide variety of goods, including bumper stickers, shirts, beach bags, footwear, umbrellas, and hobo bags.

The October 18 filing, made in Diane Maresca’s name, cost the couple $975, which Robert Maresca, 44, termed “something of a gamble” in a TSG interview.

Maresca, pictured at right, lives with his wife, an occupational therapist, and three children in West Islip. He refers to himself as a “relatively conservative person” who is pro-union and best categorized as a political independent. A former union ironworker, Maresca said that he has been disabled by a stroke and seizures.

Asked if his move to stake a legal claim to “Occupy Wall Street” might be seen as a crass attempt to cash in on a movement that has a harsh view of corporations and capitalism, Maresca answered, “No.” Noting that he has a “practical business side,” Maresca added that, “If I didn’t buy it and use it someone else will.”

When he first checked the USPTO database, Maresca recalled, he discovered that a Brooklyn man had filed for a trademark for “We Are The 99%.” Still, he believed that “Occupy” would prove to be “a more powerful brand.”

Maresca said that he has visited the Wall Street protest site on several occasions and believes that corporations have too much influence on elected officials. While he has yet to mass produce any “Occupy Wall Street” product, Maresca said that he has inked some t-shirts with magic markers. Additionally, his wife has some experience making clothing and bags at home. (3 pages)