Lights Out: Merriman Lawsuit Against Vermont Teddy Bear Settles
Shawne Merriman, former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills, along with his company Lights Out Holdings, has settled a another trademark infringement suit over the usage of his trademark, “Lights Out,” a registered trademark since 2004. The suit alleged that The Vermont Teddy Bear Company used Merriman’s trademark on its product, including teddy bears and pajamas for both adults and children. According to the complaint filed on April 5, 2016, the company “refused to cooperate” through a product name change.
On Thursday, May 12, 2016, a federal judge approved a joint motion to drop the case, signaling another trademark infringement suit that Merriman has settled over the “Lights Out” brand. Merriman initiated a similar lawsuit against Nike in 2014, but settled in February 2016. According to Merriman, negotiations between the brand and Nike fell through in 2006, but Nike used the brand name anyway. Similarly, Merriman filed a lawsuit against Storm Products in 2014, which also settled. Details of the settlement with Vermont Teddy Bear Company were not available, but products with the Lights Out brand are no longer available on the company’s website.
Lights Out Holdings launched in 2007 in an effort to further Merriman’s brand of luxury athletic sportswear. The brand has previously sold in Walmart and online. In March 2016, the Lights Out launched a new sportswear website, marketing the brand towards athletes seeking exceptional fitness apparel.
Merriman means business when it comes to protecting his brand. The nickname, earned from knocking out four opposing players during the first half of a high school football game, is illustrative of Merriman’s approach to any companies attempting to use “Lights Out” on their products: relentless.