By Bill O’Neil
Could the shoe be on the other foot? We often hear from big companies about protecting their copyrights, patents, and trademarks—this time though a Houston small business owner said he’s the victim of a trademark infringement—at the hands of a corporate giant.
“If nothing else, I want my story to be heard because I’m sure I’m not the only small business owner to be taken advantage of by a corporation” said Pink Slip Records Co-Owner Broderick Robinson. He told 550 KTSA News his brand was damaged—after Nike began selling shirts with the phrase “I’m on it.” Robinson’s company had been selling shirts with the same wording before Nike began selling it’s own shirts with those words.
After bringing his protest to Nike, Robinson said he had to wait some ten months for a response. He shared that written response with 550 KTSA News. In it, Nike said it did not violate his trademark for a number of reasons—among them the fact they are an international company versus his regional operation. Nike also said the phrase “I’m on it” is common use for the wording “I’m addressing this task”—another reason why the company said it did not violate a trademark.
“Once they got their information—Nike still didn’t cease and desist—basically they continued on until they decided to discontinue—and they didn’t come up with a resolution with my company” Robinson said.
Nike has since stopped selling the shirts—but that isn’t stopping Robinson from pushing to get all of the profits Nike generated with those sales.
“The problem with being a small business owner—and taking on a global company such as Nike—you have to have the resources” Robinson said.
550 KTSA News reached out to Nike—which did not respond.
Photos: finishline.com; Pink Slip Records;