Woman Attempts To Trademark The Phrase ‘I Can’t Breathe’

“I can’t breathe.”

Those three words make up one big phrase that’s become a rallying cry for protests across the country. A north suburban woman says those words should belong to her, CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports.

The phrase was the last uttered by New York’s Eric Garner before he died as police attempted to arrest him. Pro basketballers have sported it on T-shirts.

Soon, however, if LeBron James wants to rock “I Can’t Breathe” gear, he may have to get it from a Waukegan woman.

That’s right: Catherine L. Crump, who lists an apartment as her address, has filed paperwork in an attempt to trademark the phrase “I Can’t Breathe.”

She could not be reached for comment. But a Chicago copyright lawyer, Daliah Saper, heard about the case. She says it’s no slam dunk for the applicant, who has filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The application says Crump would use the phrase on clothing like sweatshirts and T-shirts.

“In legal terms … you can’t just use a phrase to sell something. You have to show that it’s a brand,” Saper says.

She says it could take a year for Crump to find out whether she’ll get the trademark.

one Comment

  • Jay 5 days ago

    It started as “I can’t breath” on many shirts and only later was corrected to “breathe” overlooking the fact that a person who can’t breathe, also cannot talk due to a lack of breath in his/her lungs. This only increases when you have 4 or 5 police officers holding you down trying to handcuff you for criminal activity. “I can’t breathe” can’t happen if you truly can’t breathe. Makes for good TV, racism, police brutality complaint, race baiting, animosity between citizens, however, it’s totally incorrect to use in Eric Garner’s case because he was breathing and talking as he was taken away in an ambulance only to die later in an emergency room from complications of his obesity which caused him several health problems that his exertion lead to his death. If he had just obeyed the orders of the police officers sent to protect the businesses in the area, he would still be here.

    He made the decision to resist, cause the officers the need to restrain him, exerted further efforts to get away and eventually succumbed to his physical defects due to no brutality on the part of the officers.

    Now we see that retaliation is beginning from people of the Negro community who have been lead to believe they have suffered several injustices at the hands of the police in Ferguson and New York which is not correct. If you do not want to be contacted by the police, don’t do anything that will make someone call the police, like strong arm robbery. Additionally punching an officer in the face, attempt to steal his gun, act irrational by charging an officer, refuse to follow an officer’s order to get on the ground, fail to cooperate in an investigative stop, run from an officer as soon as he approaches you and so on.

    They’re there to protect you UNLESS you’ve done something wrong, then your fear of arrest is probably justified. However, they will never hurt you unless you force them to do so.

    Everyday, police officers lay their lives on the line for the citizens who employ them for protection even though it has been shown they can’t get to a crime seen in time to actually protect you in most cases. They’re arrival usually leads to report writing, evidence gathering, witness interviews, suspect’s description and release of the body to the coroner for an autopsy which provides more evidence.

    The only person who can protect you IS YOU. Get a gun. Learn to use it. Carry it everywhere you go because when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Who knows, you might even be able to save the life of a police officer as he deals with a crook looking for his backup unit to arrive. An armed citizen can be that back up under the law of “Posse Comitatus”.

    Remember also, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” Robert A. Heinlein

    However, it seems this only applies to those who’ve been taught manners. Something sadly lacking in today’s society.


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