Greta Thunberg applies to trademark her name to 'protect' her movement

30 January 2020, 07:45

The Swedish teen was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2019 for her climate activism
The Swedish teen was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2019 for her climate activism. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has applied to trademark her name and 'Fridays for Future' to "protect the movement" from being used for commercial purposes.

In a post on Instagram, Ms Thunberg said she and her fellow school strikers have "absolutely no interests in trademarks, but unfortunately it needs to be done."

The move would allow legal action against persons or companies trying to use her name which are not in line with her values or that of her movement, she said.

“I assure you, I and the other school strikers have absolutely no interests in trademarks. But unfortunately, it needs to be done,” she said on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

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

She also revealed she and her family were setting up a foundation "for handling money (book royalties, donations, prize money etc.) in a completely transparent way."

The Swedish teenager came to fame by staging a regular strike at her school, sparking a global movement that eventually earned her Time Magazine's award as the 2019 Person of the Year.

The strike began a global movement in August 2018 when she began sitting outside her country’s Parliament.

Aged just 16, she inspired millions of people to join the global climate strike on 20 September and has addressed world leaders at the UN.

She is the youngest person to ever win the Time accolade, winning over other shortlist nominees US President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ‘The Whistleblower’ who triggered the impeachment inquiry and the Hong Kong Protesters.

The award led to US President Donald Trump mocking her over, seemingly believing he should have been awarded the title instead.