According to NBC 7 San Diego, Shawne Merriman is suing Nike over a new line of athletic clothing, claiming the company is infringing on his trademarked nickname “Lights Out”. According to the suit, Merriman and Nike were in negotiations to start a clothing brand with his trademark phrase, but nothing official was ever decided. Nike released a clothing line of the same name earlier this year. Merriman’s company, Lights Out Holdings, filed the lawsuit, demanding a permanent injunction to stop the sale of the offending merchandise.
As a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Merriman trademarked his nickname in 2007. Merriman released a statement about the lawsuit, saying “I made things official by securing the federal rights to my LIGHTS OUT trademark and have been using it ever since. I am suing Nike as a last resort.”
The lawsuit includes demands for “statutory damages of up to $2 million per content mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale or distribution,” although any official decisions on damages will most likely be decided at trial.
Merriman also stated in his press release that the suit was not just about his personal trademark, but “to protect other[s] who are trying to develop a brand.”
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[Did You Know: Merriman earned the nickname “Lights Out” after knocking out four other players in one game.]
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