Nike is one of the largest footwear and athletic gear companies in the world, known for its familiar slogan, “Just Do It.” The company recently issued a trademark complaint on Jan. 18 against a Texas-based CBD company called Revive Farming Technologies, which filed to use the trademark “Just Hemp It” on Dec. 16, 2019.
“JUST DO IT… which has been in use in commerce for more than 30 years and registered for more than 25 years, is famous within the meaning of Lanham Act Section 43(c), 15 USC 1125(c),” Nike stated. It is asking the Patent and Trademark Office and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to deny Revive’s attempt to trademark the phrase “Just Hemp It.”
Nike says that it has multiple trademark registrations for the “Just Do It” mark, which is “widely known and famous,” and that Revive should not be allowed to trademark “Just Hemp It” because it would cause confusion and hurt Nike.
According to the Green Market Report (GMR), Revive already features the phrase on its website, followed by a trademark symbol. GMR also says that the website says things about CBD that are not allowed to be called medical claims.
Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign was first launched in 1988 by the late Dan Wieden, who has successfully launched other slogan campaigns for companies like Old Spice, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola. Apparently, Wieden said that “Just Do It” was inspired by the final words of an inmate on death row, who said “You know, let’s do it” before his execution.
In the past, Nike has taken other companies to court when they tried to use different versions of “Just Do It.” In 1992, Nike targeted a company called “Just Did It,” which also sold athletic gear, for trademark infringement. In 2020, Nike went after a business for using “Just believe it.” Nike recently contacted a small business owner who opened a succulent shop called JustSuccIt in 2020 about trademark infringement.
This hasn’t been an uncommon trend in the cannabis industry either. In August 2017, the glue company known as Gorilla Glue took Gorilla Glue Strains to court. The results meant that strains known as Gorilla Glue #1 or Gorilla Glue #4 would be referred to as GG1 or GG4.
In February 2018, The Hershey Co. began suing cannabis companies for copyright infringement and targeted both the Oakland-based Harborside dispensary and a California edibles company called Good Girl Cannabis Co. for selling items with similar Hershey product branding.
In February 2019, UPS targeted cannabis delivery services that were using its acronym, such as United Pot Smokers, UPS420, and THCPlant.
Later in August 2019, Sour Patch Kids targeted illegal cannabis products like Stoney Patch for infringing upon the trademark as well. Cinnabon sued a vape company in October 2019 for selling an e-liquid using the brand’s name, just one month before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that vaping lung injuries were being caused by vitamin E acetate in November 2019.
More recently, in August 2022, Mars Wrigley won a lawsuit against cannabis companies using the logo font and colors to sell illegal edibles. “I have placed significant weight on the issue of harm, not only to the plaintiff but also to members of the public who might accidentally consume the Defendants’ infringing product, believing it to be a genuine Skittles product. “The fact that Skittles are a confectionary product that is attractive to children reinforces the need to denounce the defendants’ conduct,” said Judge Patrick Gleeson in his ruling.