Former Charger Merriman sues Nike over trademark infringement
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman
is suing athletic equipment giant Nike in San Diego federal court, alleging
unfair competition and trademark infringement of his “Lights Out” brand.
The suit, filed by Merriman's company, Lights Out Holdings, LLC, demands
immediate injunctive relief to stop Nike's alleged actions, plus millions of
dollars in damages.
Merriman said he holds the federal trademark for the “Lights Out”
brand on a Nike clothing line, which includes a broad range of apparel for men,
women and children.
“I earned my `Lights Out' nickname in high school when I knocked out
four opposing players in one football game,” Merriman said. “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, not only to protect
my brand, but to protect other athletes who are trying to develop a brand.”
A spokeswoman for Oregon-based Nike said the company does not comment on
In late 2006 or 2007, according to the lawsuit, Nike entered into
negotiations with Merriman for a “Lights Out” line of apparel. Negotiations
between Merriman and Nike were unsuccessful but “after these discussions Nike
decided to use the `Lights Out' clothing brand anyway,” the suit alleges.