The companies trying to profit off #MeToo

The hashtag #MeToo, which emerged as a rallying cry for women to share experiences with sexual assault and harassment, has ousted abusers, launched tech solutions to sexism, and united survivors. But it is also being used by companies wanting to make a quick buck.

Several companies have moved to file trademarks on #MeToo and related phrases since the hashtag resurged in popularity in October after being created by activist Tarana Burke in 2006, frustrating some activists who believe it cheapens the movement.

American Beauty brand Hard Candy applied for a trademark on the phrase in October 2017, Virginia legal firm Excellaw, applied to trademark #MeToo, and a company going by the name of Metoo, Inc.

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