[Ed. – Because this is America, dammit.]
In a December 13 application, Catherine Crump petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the phrase for use on hoodies and t-shirts for men, women, boys, girls, and infants.
The 57-year-old Crump, who lives in Waukegan, a city 40 miles north of Chicago, contends that she has been using “I can’t breathe” for commercial purposes since “at least as early” as August 18, one month after Eric Garner, 43, died following a confrontation with police on Staten Island. …
In an interview, Crump said that she had “nothing to do with the Garner family,” and had not spoken to them about her trademark bid. While claiming that her purpose for marketing “I can’t breathe” garments was not to make money, she declined to disclose what other reason there was for her trademark filing (which cost $325).
Three similar entrepreneurs have filed to trademark the phrase “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” for use on clothing items. Each of those USPTO applications was filed within three weeks of the August 9 death of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was shot to death by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri.