Shawne Merriman files motion against Nike for $18 million
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Shawne Merriman, former San Diego Chargers linebacker, filed a motion in U.S. District Court in San Diego against Nike seeking $18 million in statutory damages as well as Nike’s gross profits on false endorsement claims from his company Lights Out Holdings.
According to Merriman, “Lights Out” was a nickname given to him in high school and he decided to create the brand while he was attending the University of Maryland.
“I’ve carefully grown and developed that brand, but Nike still insists on using it,” Merriman said.
Merriman said he sold about 2,000 T-shirts with the “Lights Out” logo. The money he made helped him pay his way through college, he said.
Nike has only said it does not comment on pending litigation, but according to the lawsuit, Nike knew of Merriman’s “Lights Out” brand when it signed with him in 2006.
Nike’s “Lights Out” apparel line consists of 56 separate products for both men and women, according to the motion.
The court document states, “Under the law of false endorsement, the likelihood of customer confusion is the determinative issue,” and the motion also describes Nike’s action as “blatant counterfeiting.”