by Aaron Wilson
April 14, 02014
Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is suing Nike over the use of the "Lights Out" brand he made famous during his playing days.
Merriman's Lights Out Holdings, LLC filed a suit in a California court alleging that, "Nike entered into negotiations with Merriman for a LIGHTS OUT line of apparel. Negotiations between Merriman and Nike were unsuccessful but, according to the complaint, “after these discussions Nike decided to use the LIGHTS OUT clothing brand anyway," according to a press release.
“I earned my ‘Lights Out’ nickname in high school when I knocked out four opposing players in one football game,” Merriman said in a statement. “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 after their professional career, like myself."
Merriman is seeking “statutory damages of up to $2 million per content mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale or distribution."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.