'Occupy Denver' trade-name filing withdrawn

5:34 PM, Oct 29, 2011   |    comments
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According to a filing on Saturday morning with Secretary of State's office, the attorney who had filed the original claim withdrew.

9NEWS first reported on this story on Friday.

The trade name claim didn't come from movement organizers, but from the address of a law firm run by a prominent supporter of Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Hickenlooper and Hancock have been strongly criticized by Occupy Denver protestors for their handling of the weeks-long encampment in downtown Denver.

"It struck me as strange," Occupy Denver protestor Jason Roth said. "I doubt that it's a coincidence because of the connection between these people and our elected representatives."

The filing came from the office of Bookhardt and O'Toole, a law firm specializing in municipal bond work. The firm's founding partner is Dawn Bookhardt, one of five transition committee co-chairs for Hancock and a high-profile Hickenlooper supporter who donated just short of the maximum amount to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

"Wow. That's interesting," a protestor who asked to be identified as JJ said. "I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but that seems like something Hickenlooper would do to undermine this movement, to undermine what we're trying to fight for here."

Hancock declined comment Friday.

Roth says Occupy Denver organizers hadn't filed for trade name protection because they had other priorities.

"We've been in fair use of that name for at least three weeks now," Roth said. "If a corporate lawyer were to come down here and say cease and desist, do not use 'Occupy Denver,' I think our legal team would be in court fairly quickly."

The filing by Bookhardt & O'Toole attorney Mike Schneider only states that the filer "transacts business of contemplates transacting business" under the name Occupy Denver, describing the business as "Educational Forums."

By email, Schneider declined to comment on the filing to 9Wants to Know investigator Kyle Clark. He later emailed to say the trade name statement was not related to Bookhardt and O'Toole.

Dawn Bookhardt says Schneider's actions were "unauthorized."

"My understanding is that he did it on his own," Bookhardt said by phone. "Frankly, I'm stunned."

Bookhardt says Schneider was "in trouble" for using the firm's time, resources and address to file a trade name claim for personal use. She denied her firm is trying to undercut Occupy Denver.

"Typical. That's what corporate America is all about," protestor Cameron Kelly, who joined the protest during a visit to Colorado from New York, said.

"I think people have put two and two and two together and they're seeing that we're getting screwed," Kelly said, turning to a 9NEWS photojournalist. "Can you say that on TV?"

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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