The Japanese Patent Office refused “JUST DO IT” trademark


Masaki Mikami reports about an interesting news for a refusal of Nike’s application for a trademark “JUST DO IT” in Class 3. This application relies on the so-called defensive trademark, a concept in trademark law in Japan, according to which an owner of a trademark with reputation can file an application to unrelated goods and services.

Nike did that, however, The Japanese Patent Office refused the application due to lack of evidence whether this mark is well-known for the goods in class 25, on which it is based.

The Board of Appeal upheld this decision. Although the Board admitted a certain degree of reputation on the term “JUST DO IT”, there is no sufficient evidence which to show clearly that this sign serves as a trade origin for the goods in Class 25.