News & Politics

🙄 Greta Thunberg™ Applies to Trademark Her Name

In this photo taken on Friday, July 26, 2019, Greta Thunberg stands next to Swedish parliament in Stockholm. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

Activist and exploited child Greta Thunberg has applied to trademark her name, according to a post written by her (or her father) on Instagram.

“Unfortunately there are still people who are trying to impersonate me or falsely claim that they ‘represent’ me in order to communicate with high profile people, politicians, media, artists etc.” the post reads. “Please be aware that this is happening and be extremely suspicious if you are contacted by ‘me’ or someone saying they ‘represent’ me.”

“My name and the #FridaysForFuture movement are constantly being used for commercial purposes without any consent whatsoever. It happens for instance in marketing, selling of products and people collecting money in my and the movement’s name,” the post continues. “That is why I’ve applied to register my name, Fridays For Future, Skolstrejk för klimatet etc as trademarks. This action is to protect the movement and its activities. It is also needed to enable my pro bono legal help to take necessary action against people or corporations etc who are trying to use me and the movement in purposes not in line with what the movement stands for.”

The post claims Greta Thunberg™ “and the other school strikers have absolutely no interests in trademarks. But unfortunately it needs to be done.”

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Impostors, trademarks, commercial interests, royalties and foundation… First: Unfortunately there are still people who are trying to impersonate me or falsely claim that they "represent" me in order to communicate with high profile people, politicians, media, artists etc. Please be aware that this is happening and be extremely suspicious if you are contacted by ”me” or someone saying they ”represent” me. I apologize to anyone who has been contacted – and even misled – by this kind of behavior. Second: My name and the #FridaysForFuture movement are constantly being used for commercial purposes without any consent whatsoever. It happens for instance in marketing, selling of products and people collecting money in my and the movement’s name. That is why I’ve applied to register my name, Fridays For Future, Skolstrejk för klimatet etc as trademarks. This action is to protect the movement and its activities. It is also needed to enable my pro bono legal help to take necessary action against people or corporations etc who are trying to use me and the movement in purposes not in line with what the movement stands for. I assure you, I and the other school strikers have absolutely no interests in trademarks. But unfortunately it needs to be done. Fridays For Future is a global movement founded by me. It belongs to anyone taking part in it, above all the young people. It can – and must – not be used for individual or commercial purposes. And third: together with my family I’m setting up a foundation. It’s already registered and existing, but it not is not yet up and running. This is strictly nonprofit of course and there are no interests in philanthropy. It is just something that is needed for handling money (book royalties, donations, prize money etc) in a completely transparent way. For instance, taxes have to be paid before we can give them away to specified purposes and charities. This takes a lot of time and work, and when the foundation is fully up and running I will tell you more. The foundation’s aim will be to promote ecological, climatic and social sustainability as well as mental health. Love/ Greta

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

While it may make sense to apply for a trademark of her #FridaysForFuture movement, trademarking her name seems bizarre. Celebrities have been trademarking their names and catchphrases, but that’s typically to protect their own financial interests. Greta Thunberg™ may be claiming to be acting out of the interest of protecting her movement from unauthorized usage, but I dare say the motive is largely financial.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis