BERLIN – Climate activist Greta Thunberg said Wednesday she has applied to trademark her name and that of the international school strike movement she inspired, a move meant to protect the movement from misuse for commercial purposes.
In an Instagram post, the 17-year-old Swede said that she and fellow activists have “absolutely no interests” in trademarks “but unfortunately it needs to be done.”
Thunberg said the application covers her name, the name of the Fridays for Future movement, and “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (Swedish for “School strike for climate”), which was the slogan on a sign she held during the weekly solo protests outside Sweden's parliament that inspired similar actions by other young people.
Thunberg said trademark protection is needed because her name and that of the 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,” she wrote.
She said that registering the trademarks was also required to receive pro bono legal assistance in taking action act against people or companies that try to use her name and the name of Fridays for Future for purposes that aren't in line with the movement's.
“Fridays For Future is a global movement founded by me,” Thunberg said. “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.”
Thunberg said that she and her family also are setting up a nonprofit foundation to handle money from such things as book royalties, donations and prizes transparently.
The foundation's aim “will be to promote ecological, climatic and social sustainability as well as mental health,” she wrote.