Nike's Lawyers Are Going After a Hemp Company for Its "Just Hemp It" Slogan
Nike's lawyers have a message for companies that try to infringe on its trademarks: “just don't do it.”
Published on January 27, 2023

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Nike has filed a legal challenge against a Texas hemp company for trying to trademark the phrase “Just Hemp It,” a slogan that sounds suspiciously similar to the athletic company's most popular trademark.

Texas-based Revive Farming Technologies initially filed a trademark application for “Just Hemp It” back in 2019. In the application, the company asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to grant them exclusive rights to use this phrase on CBD vape carts, hemp clothing, paper products, and a variety of merch. But although Revive proudly displays its slogan on its website with a trademark symbol, the patent office has not granted the trademark. 

Revive's chances of actually receiving that trademark are now looking pretty slim. Earlier this month, Nike filed a complaint asking the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to deny the company's proposed trademark registration. The company's attorneys argue that their “Just Do It” trademark is “widely recognized and famous” and “has been in use in commerce for more than 30 years, and registered for more than 25 years,” according to Green Market Report.

Indeed, Nike has used this popular phrase on TV and print ads, T-shirts, bags, and almost every other product they sell since 1988. This popular phrase – which was apparently nicked from the final words of a death row inmate – has inspired dozens of knockoffs since then. In 1992, Nike went after a rival athletic company calling themselves “Just Did It,” More recently, it challenged another business for using the phrase “Just Believe It.”

Nike's attorneys aren't shy about going after small business owners, either. In 2020, the company sent a cease and desist letter to a tiny California succulent shop called “Just Succ It.” Of course, with millions of dollars in the bank and high-powered attorneys on staff, Nike has successfully defended its trademarks in nearly all these occasions. And although the trademark appeal board has yet to decide the case, they will likely choose to deny Revive's application as well. 

This new legal challenge is the latest in many trademark disputes between cannabis companies and established corporations. Kool cigarettes just won a lawsuit against a California legal weed company that dared to copy the interlocking “OOs” from its popular logo. The company that makes Gorilla Glue has gone after legal weed producers who market weed strains under that popular name, and Girl Scouts of America have even sued dispensaries for selling “Girl Scout Cookies” strains.

Most of these trademark disputes focus on knockoff weed edibles, though. Cannabis producers love to come up with witty takes on candy corporations' most popular products, and those companies are more than eager to defend their intellectual property. The Ferrara candy company has sued dozens of companies for knocking off its “Nerds Rope” candies, and Hershey's has gone after products like “Mr. Dankbar” or “Reefer's Peanut Butter Cups.” Mars Inc. took matters even further by sending private investigators to buy knockoff Skittles edibles and then suing the stores that sold these products.

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Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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