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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.

Green Market Report (GMR) states that Revive has the phrase and a trademark symbol on its website. GMR further states that Revive website makes no medical claims regarding 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. Gorilla Glue Strains were taken to court by Gorilla Glue in August 2017. These results resulted in strains now known as Gorilla Glue #1 and Gorilla Glue #4 being referred to by GG1 and GG4. 

The Hershey Co. started suing cannabis businesses for copyright infringement in February 2018. They targeted the Harborside, California-based dispensary as well as a California edibles business called Good Girl Cannabis Co. because they sold items bearing similar Hershey branding.

UPS targeted cannabis delivery companies that used its acronym such as United Pot Smokers (UPS420), and THCPlant, in February 2019. 

Sour Patch Kids also targeted Stoney Patch, an illegal marijuana product in August 2019. 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.

Mars Wrigley was also sued in August 2022 for illegally selling cannabis edibles by using their logo and colors. “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.