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Woman trademarks Soldiers of Odin name for unicorn-themed clothing in anti-racism protest

Soldiers of Odin, the name of the anti-immigrant group behind street patrols claiming to protect Finnish residents, is now a registered trademark. A former Left Alliance grassroots politician said she filed the trademark application to protest a previous decision by Finnish authorities to grant SOO legal status as a registered organisation.

Soldiers of Odin -takin selkämys.
Image: Minna Aula / Yle

The name representing the anti-immigrant street patrol group Soldiers of Odin is now a registered trademark.

The application was filed with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office PRH in February - the same month in which the group achieved association status - by the Finn Riikka Yrttiaho, who is currently studying in Sweden. The trademark application was approved just under one month ago.

An Yle search of the PRH database revealed that the trademark was approved for garments, footwear and headgear.

"There are plans underway to manufacture high quality local handicraft, and there’ll be no lack of unicorns and glitter," Yrttiaho said.

Trademark registration an anti-racism protest

It turns out that Yrttiaho is not a card-carrying member of the self-proclaimed security outfit, but has registered the trademark as an anti-racism protest. Yrttiaho said her move also aims to question the February decision by PRH officials to accept Soldiers of Odin as a legally-registered association.

"As long as a racist street patrol group is allowed to operate in Finland as a registered organisation, there may also be room for harmless groups to register and organise," Yrttiaho declared.

In February Yle reported that the PRH accepted the group’s application to become a registered association in February. The new status allows the organisation to legally engage in publishing activities, organise lotteries, run coffee shops and sell clothes.

The former chair of the Kallio chapter of the Left Alliance said that she crowdsourced the 215 euros required for the trademark application.

The window for objections to the application is still open and during this time anyone may attempt to reverse the PRH trademark decision. Once the objection period ends however, requests for changes will have to go before the Market Court.

Opposition to Soldiers of Odin has also spawned a clown-filled spoof group known as Loldiers of Odin.

The far-right group formed under the guidance of truck driver Mika Ranta in Kemi last autumn after the arrival of asylum seekers in the northern town.

At the time Ranta told Finnish media that concern for the community prompted him to round up like-minded individuals also professing a desire to protect locals.

Local and international media have reported widely on the group's Nazi links and on Ranta's previous brushes with the law - in 2005 he was convicted of a racially-motivated attack against two immigrants.

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