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Over the last few week, the Maresca’s of Long Island have made a lot of news – and trademark blogs – as a result of their efforts to apply to register “Occupy Wall St.” with the USPTO. Their effort was doomed from the start, for several reasons:

  • Who – if any one – is the true owner of the mark?
  • Was the phrase used to identify the source of goods, or merely in an ornamental manner?
  • Was there a false connection?
  • Will others who have also filed for “occupy” trademarks (see my earlier blog post) object to other applications?
  • Will others who claim an interest in the movement and the phrase object to the applications?

Despite these obstacles, they garnered a lot of attention in the media, and not all of it negative. But now, their efforts are officially over: an “express abandonment” of the application was filed with the USPTO and accepted.  See USPTO TARR status.

Of course, there are still many other “Occupy” trademarks pending at the USPTO. My guess is that in the end few if any of them will become registered due to the multitude of trademark legal issues (see bullet points above) and the potential oppositions from those who believe that registering or profiting from the name and the movement runs contrary to some of the movement’s principles.

photo of "Occupy DC" by Erik Pelton

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