Please, Just Stop It

“JUST STOP IT” is right. Stop trying to register trademark applications with different variations of the phrase “JUST DO IT” because this little company from Oregon will ruin your hopes and dreams.

On November 24th Nike’s legal team requested an extension with the USTTAB (US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board) to file a motion to oppose the trademark application for the mark “JUST STOP IT” by Sean Sheppard. The motion was granted and Nike’s legal team now has 90 days to “protect the swoosh” and do what it has done many times before and enforce its trademark rights. The filing here is in US Class 25 for clothing, t-shirts, pants, footwear, jackets…etc (Registration #90000211). As you can imagine, Nike has many trademarks. They have two in Class 25 (Registration numbers 1875307 and 4764071) and should have an easy time demonstrating that this registration causes a likelihood of confusion because the marks are similar and the goods or services are the same.

Around two months ago the TTAB agreed with Nike in an opposition they filed against the registration of “JUST BELIEVE IT” by Jon K. Muntean. The ruling in September was for Mr. Muntean’s filing in US Class 35 for business consultation services. He previously filed for registration of the same mark in US Class 16 for pens, stickers, advertisements signs and in US Class 25 for hats, pants, shirts, sweaters and was refused registration in 2018. Mr. Muntean filed again in 2020 in a different class. He had no intention of competing with Nike and wanted to use his mark for his consulting service that works with businesses and organizations to conduct fundraising through the sale of pens and other products. Despite all that the TTAB sided with Nike and sustained the opposition and refused registration for the “JUST BELIEVE IT” mark. The TTAB agreed with the similarities pointed out by Nike and went on to highlight how the global fame and notoriety of the “JUST DO IT” mark make it a strong independent factor to overcome.

This ruling by the TTAB and the many other similar ones show that Nike and its legal team are vigilantly enforcing trademark and intellectual property rights. The strength of the Nike brand and marks is palpable around the world and by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s TTAB. Nike is not afraid to intervene and flex its muscle. There is no doubt in my mind that the same result will occur for “JUST STOP IT.” Hopefully, other registrants with similar marks listen to this ruling when it is handed down in 2021 and take this phrase literally and just stop trying to register a mark that is remotely similar to “JUST DO IT.”

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