Don’t Wear it Out: Settlement in Lawsuit Against Nike Over the Allegedly Improper Use of the Name “Lights Out”
After nearly two years, a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman against Nike has settled, according to documents filed in California federal court on Thursday, February 11, 2016.
The lawsuit was sparked by Nike’s use of the term “Lights Out” for one of its lines of athletic apparel. Merriman was given the nickname “Lights Out” while in high school, and upon entering college, began selling T-shirts with a “Lights Out” logo to help pay for his schooling.
Prior to the settlement, Merriman commented on the dispute, stating that “[he’d] carefully grown and developed that brand, but Nike still insists on using it.” Nike allegedly knew of Merriman’s “Lights Out” brand when it signed with him in 2006. In 2007, Merriman acquired a trademark for “Lights Out.”
The final terms of the settlement were not disclosed, however according to a representative for Merriman, “Nike and Shawne Merriman’s Lights Out Brand have amicably resolved their ongoing dispute, with the sportswear giant wishing Merriman’s Lights Out brand ‘great success.’”