Nike Is Fighting a Small Business Owner Over the Name “Just Succ It”
The multibillion-dollar company is claiming a small plant-themed business' name infringed upon the "distinctiveness" of Nike's "Just Do It" motto
After having “a couple of glasses of wine,” Southern Californa-based small business owner Andrea Galbreath came up with a name for a potential business: “Just Succ It.” Galbreath decided to purchase the charming, cheeky domain name in advance of starting a succulent-themed blog, according to NBC News. After losing her social worker job during the pandemic, Galbreath began selling succulent gift arrangements, personalized planters, gift boxes and other succulent-themed items. She created an LLC with the “Just Succ It” name in July, 2020, then sought to trademark it in April, 2021.
Soon after the trademark was published on January 4th, Galbreath received a notice from the United States Patent and Trademark Office informing her that Nike — the multinational corporation that sells shoes and other sportswear — had filed an opposition notice to the trademark because of Just Succ It’s similarity to its “Just Do It” slogan.
Galbreath told NBC News she took to TikTok with her legal predicament hoping to gain advice from other users about how to fight Nike’s cease-and-desist, which she received just days after she posted her videos to TikTok. So far, the first video about her dilemma has garnered 471K views, while her follow-up has a whopping 2.1 million.
So why is Nike fighting a small business owner over something this trivial? Well, according to the sportswear giant’s cease-and-desist that was reviewed by NBC News, Nike says it had to take measures to ensure that the public wouldn’t confuse Galbreath’s business with Nike’s own products, while also claiming Just Succ It infringed upon the “distinctiveness” of Nike’s “Just Do It” motto.
“Nobody has ever, ever considered my small business to be remotely similar to Nike,” Galbreath told the news publication, adding that fighting the multi-billion corporation could cost her $50,000 to $100,000 and that it could take years for a decision. “That could ruin a small business,” she said. “And that’s why they do that, because they know that most small businesses are not going to try to fight a corporation like them.”
Clearly, Nike is being an asshole here. As Galbreath notes, no one is thinking this small succulent business has anything to do with Nike and vice versa. But while Nike has the funds to decimate literally anyone, the corporation clearly has underestimated the power TikTok wields when it comes to cyberbullying.
Take Coach for example. After a viral TikTok video revealed the designer leather goods brand slashes and disposes of unsalable handbags, in October 2021, Coach said it would stop destroying bags, presumably because internet users wouldn’t stop leaving critical comments about it on the company’s social pages.
Now, we can’t say for certain Galbreath’s TikTok crusade will cause Nike to back off, but the online reaction to her predicament has been “really supportive,” Galbreath told NBC News, and is also pretty telling by the flood of comments left on Galbreath’s videos instructing Nike to “go succ it.” Regardless, it’s a bad look for Nike — leave this woman and her succulent-themed gift boxes alone.
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