Tags: i cant breathe | trademark | eric garner

'I Can't Breathe' Trademark: Eric Garner's Last Words to Go on Hoodies

Image: 'I Can't Breathe' Trademark: Eric Garner's Last Words to Go on Hoodies
In this file photo, LeBron James wears a "I Can't Breathe" t-shirt at Barclays Center in New York City on December 8, 2014. (Rich Kane/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 19 Dec 2014 12:10 PM

An "I can't breathe" trademark application was filed Saturday by an Illinois woman seeking to use the words uttered by a dying Eric Garner on T-shirts, hoodies, and other merchandise.

The Smoking Gun reported that Catherine Crump, 57, of Waukegan, a city outside Chicago, claims she's been using the phrase "at least as early" as August 18, a month after Garner was put in a chokehold during an arrest on New York's Staten Island, and died soon after of medical complications.

Garner's last words have become a rallying cry for those seeking improved relations between police and the citizens they interact with — especially black citizens — and has been seen on protest signs and heard in protest chants around the country.

Star basketball player LeBron James even wore a shirt emblazoned with the phrase in public recently.

Reached by phone for an interview, Crump said she had "nothing to do with the Garner family" and had not been in contact with them before or during her bid for the "I can't breathe" trademark. She said that the sale of the garments she sells were not an attempt to make money. She declined to say what other end they may achieve, however.

Crump's petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office cost a fee of $325.

Within three weeks of the August 9 death of Michael Brown that followed an altercation with a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, three applications for the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" slogan were also filed.

Unlike Garner's arrest, Brown's was not recorded, and competing witness testimony has made it unclear whether Brown ever actually raised his hands in surrender.

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An "I can't breathe" trademark application was filed Saturday by an Illinois woman seeking to use the words uttered by a dying Eric Garner on T-shirts, hoodies, and other merchandise.
i cant breathe, trademark, eric garner
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2014-10-19
Friday, 19 Dec 2014 12:10 PM
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