It appears as if one of The Rock’s most popular catchphrases may end landing WWE in some legal hot water, as popular athletic wear company Nike has filed a “notice of opposition” to WWE’s attempt to trademark “Just Bring It” as part of their Tapout clothing line.
Okay, so you may be saying “but The Rock started using that catchphrase all the way back in the Attitude Era, why is Nike only complaining now?” and that would be a valid point. We’re not lawyers, but as we understand it, while Nike almost certainly wasn’t thrilled with The Rock back then, they only had a real opportunity to respond when WWE filed for federal trademark protection for the phrase in 2014, allowing Nike to make moves to prevent them from using it. Before that point, it was just a catchphrase and something printed on t-shirts, not WWE attempting to claim ownership.
Next, you might wonder how anyone would think that Nike would have a case, given their slogan is “Just Do It”, which is clearly different. And to that, we have to say that they’ve been successful at fighting this case in the past, even against far less similar phrases, because trademark law is a murky area and Nike has very good lawyers. While this hasn’t proceeded to actual legal action as of yet, as there’s still a chance WWE could withdraw their trademark claim and use one of The Rock’s five million other catchphrases to sell athletic apparel, but we will keep you informed if the situation develops.