Nike Challenges Trademark of Hemp Company Slogan ‘Just Hemp It’
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, who 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 argues that it owns multiple trademark registrations for the “Just Do It” mark, describing it as “widely recognized and famous,” and that the Revive should not be allowed to trademark “Just Hemp It” because it would lead to confusion and cause injury and damage to Nike.
According to Green Market Report (GMR), Revive already features the phrase on its website followed with a trademark symbol. GMR also states that the website contains language that makes unauthorized medical claims about CBD.
Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign first launched in 1988 by the late Dan Wieden, who has successfully launched other slogan campaigns for companies like Old Spice, Procter and 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.
Nike has led successful trademark complaints against other companies attempting to use variations of “Just Do It” in the past. 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.” More recently, a small business owner who started a succulent shop called JustSuccIt in 2020, was also contacted by Nike regarding 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.
UPS targeted cannabis delivery services that were using its acronym, such as United Pot Smokers, UPS420, and THCPlant in February 2019.
Later in August 2019, Sour Patch Kids targeted illegal cannabis products like Stoney Patch for infringing upon the trademark as well. Cinnabon took on a vape company in October 2019 for selling an e-liquid using the brand’s name, just one month before the Center 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 are attractive to children reinforces the need to denounce the Defendants’ conduct,” said Judge Patrick Gleeson in his ruling.