Shawne Merriman has been slapped with a federal lawsuit by Nike — who is demanding a judge order the ex-NFL star back off with the legal threats and even blasting the former professional athelete for believing he owns the rights to his nickname “Lights Out“, theJasmineBRAND.com exclusively reports.
Earlier this year, Merriman reportedly filed a federal lawsuit against Nike accusing them of infringing on his trademark and unfair competition, all in relation to his nickname “Lights Out”.
Merriman explained in court docs that he was in talks with Nike to create a Lights Out apparel line from 2006-2007, but no agreement was ever reached between the two. However, he says that didn’t stop Nike from launching their own line with the same name without him — despite him trademarking the nickname back in 2007.
He served Nike with the lawsuit demanding an injunction against them from continuing to sell the apparel with the trademark and damages for infringement.
Then on December 18th, Nike fired back at Merriman’s legal battle and claimed they did nothing wrong by selling products with the phrase “LIGHTS OUTS” on them. The company says the phrase is not something that can even be trademarked and thus Merriman cannot claim he owns the rights to it.
Nike then reportedly said that Merriman didn’t properly maintain his rights to the the alleged trademark and he abandoned the use of it and they even blast the NFL star by saying nobody really associates the term “LIGHTS OUT” with only him and no one purchasing their products featuring the phrase are under the impression it is endorsed by Merriman.
The company then slapped Merriman with a counter-suit. They explain that “LIGHTS OUT” is used to describe athletes at the top of their game. Nike is demanding the court order they are NOT infringing on Merriman’s trademark and want the judge to allow them to continue selling their products without the ex-NFL star being able to take any legal action against them. See the exclusive court docs.