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Shawne Merriman sues Nike over “Lights Out” name

Shawne Merriman AP

In addition to his plans to step into the wrestling ring, former Chargers and Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman is picking a fight with another opponent: Nike.

Merriman has sued Nike for trademark infringement and unfair competition over its Lights Out apparel line, the Associated Press reports.

During his playing days, Merriman went by the nickname “Lights Out,” and his company, Lights Out Holdings LLC, says Nike violated its trademark. According to the suit, Nike and Merriman negotiated about creating a Lights Out apparel line in 2006 or 2007, but when they couldn’t come to terms, Nike used the Lights Out name anyway.

Merriman wants Nike to pay him damages and to be prevented from selling Lights Out gear in the future.

The 29-year-old Merriman was one of the brightest young stars in the league from 2005 to 2007, but knee injuries held him to just 22 games over the next five years before he called it quits.

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45 Responses to “Shawne Merriman sues Nike over “Lights Out” name”
  1. alshonbrandontandem says: Apr 14, 2014 7:15 PM

    Hey Shawne Merriman, your career is Lights Out.

  2. nmills001 says: Apr 14, 2014 7:22 PM

    20$ I know what his finishing move in WWE will be called

  3. greglloydrules says: Apr 14, 2014 7:25 PM

    Someone’s broke.

  4. reesesteel23 says: Apr 14, 2014 7:25 PM

    29??….wow…just wow

  5. radioactivechimp says: Apr 14, 2014 7:26 PM

    He’s obnoxious and a cheater, but honestly it seems like he has a pretty strong case against Nike.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 14, 2014 7:27 PM

    The “Lights Out” line of apparel caters to broken down former jocks.

  7. mrtevytev says: Apr 14, 2014 7:27 PM

    When the NFL stopped him from taking his medicine his body broke down.

  8. ariani1985 says: Apr 14, 2014 7:29 PM

    Come back and play LB for the Packers, they love signing damaged goods!

  9. thetooloftools says: Apr 14, 2014 7:30 PM

    22 games over five years?
    Lights out for $ out of the owners pockets.
    If he didn’t directly trademark it, it’s lights out for is chances.

  10. peopletrains says: Apr 14, 2014 7:31 PM

    You mean steroid injuries.

  11. GrossmanDaSexCannon says: Apr 14, 2014 7:40 PM

    It’s how lazy people in this country get paid; lawsuis.

  12. britishraven says: Apr 14, 2014 7:43 PM

    I can’t believe he’s only 29!

  13. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 14, 2014 7:44 PM

    Nike counters by pointing out that Merriman was more commonly referred to as “Light Out And No One Home”, during his playing days.

  14. cardsfann1 says: Apr 14, 2014 7:49 PM

    What a bum…

  15. luz56 says: Apr 14, 2014 7:50 PM

    Tort reform would eliminate frivolous lawsuits….

  16. mediasloppy says: Apr 14, 2014 7:54 PM

    You can’t go after Nike and their money. No way, not going to happen. If he’s lucky they’ll throw him a bone to shut-up.

  17. trbowman says: Apr 14, 2014 7:56 PM

    I’m OK with this, because I’m against all things Nike. That’s a company that has zero integrity.

  18. thingamajig says: Apr 14, 2014 8:00 PM

    Why has he waited so long before suing Nike. Looks like he should have sued 6-7 years ago.

  19. bennyb82 says: Apr 14, 2014 8:02 PM

    Ryan Leaf is suing Merriman for using his ‘bust’ label.

  20. jiminauburn says: Apr 14, 2014 8:05 PM

    Lights Out is a very common term and was around way before him.

    Can I trademark “Try Harder” and then sue anyone that uses it? How’s about “Push it”? “Get Going”?

    Stupid lawsuit and people and companies should be prevented from trademarking common terms.

  21. robseahawksfan says: Apr 14, 2014 8:08 PM

    Godspeed Merriman. Anything that makes sweatshop king Phil Knight a cent poorer, I approve.

  22. sammyias says: Apr 14, 2014 8:09 PM

    I’m going to brand, something. I don’t know what it is yet, but I will sue all of you all if you use it.

  23. nflgiant says: Apr 14, 2014 8:19 PM

    lights out,looks 40.not 29

  24. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 14, 2014 8:20 PM

    For every frivolous lawsuit collected on there are a LOT more times that money is made by ripping somebody else off. We need those lawsuits to help to deter some of the REALLY bad stuff. And there’s not enough deterrence which is why the economy is not booming like it should be every year.

  25. noahbird says: Apr 14, 2014 8:20 PM

    Didn’t read comments… “Knee injury” or couldn’t continue using PEDs as to play at an elite level?

  26. fonetiklee says: Apr 14, 2014 8:25 PM

    I was under the impression that part of owning a trademark is defending it against any potential infringement, and failing to do so can result in losing the trademark. If that really is the case, then it’s not hard to see why Merriman would file suit against Nike.

    As for the fact that he was able to trademark “Lights Out” at all, well… if Paris Hilton can trademark “That’s Hot,” I guess any common phrase is fair game.

  27. sdnative1904 says: Apr 14, 2014 8:31 PM

    He may have a case but he could of had a closed deal with Nike if it wasn’t for going side ways Tila Tequilla.

  28. squinn21 says: Apr 14, 2014 8:35 PM

    He has a good case – he’ll make some dough from this.

  29. MichaelEdits says: Apr 14, 2014 8:54 PM

    I never heard the expression “lights out” before Shawne Merriman created it.

  30. La Milicia Negra says: Apr 14, 2014 8:56 PM

    “The 29-year-old Merriman was one of the brightest young stars in the league from 2005 to 2007, but knee injuries held him to just 22 games over the next five years before he called it quits.”

    you mean after he was caught swimming in a steriod-soup, he turned out to be a below-mediocre player??

  31. thadarkraider says: Apr 14, 2014 8:57 PM

    I think Razor Ramon should sue Shawn since his lights out dance is just a rip off from Razors

  32. akboot says: Apr 14, 2014 9:17 PM

    This lawsuit, along with the brain lawsuit with the nfl. He’s set 4 life. Well he should be anyway. I hope this clown and others like him, are on food stamps inside 2 years.

  33. pantherfan40 says: Apr 14, 2014 9:31 PM

    i think hes still concussed from that mjd hit

  34. smoothrobinva says: Apr 14, 2014 9:37 PM

    Yea yaw dropped the ball and were polite not to mention ped use. Funny how the nfl strong armed Espn not to show playmakers any more because it was true.

  35. jlmd17 says: Apr 14, 2014 9:39 PM

    He should have used the phrase: Weak Joints.

  36. coltsreign says: Apr 14, 2014 9:45 PM

    The only thing that went lights out was your career

  37. lemmetalkwouldya says: Apr 14, 2014 10:01 PM

    Shawne Merriman ……… lol

  38. 52lightsxout52 says: Apr 14, 2014 10:02 PM

    Shawn Merriman should be paying me for profiting off of my username!!! ;-D

  39. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 14, 2014 10:06 PM

    I trademarked IRG3,

  40. skins359 says: Apr 14, 2014 10:27 PM

    Wait who is suing Nike? I’ve never heard of this guy. Did he play basketball or something?

  41. wishingtonredslur says: Apr 14, 2014 11:36 PM

    Dream on. I’m going to bed and I think I’ll turn the lights out, sue me.

  42. andyvictory says: Apr 14, 2014 11:47 PM

    Why isn’t Brad Lidge sueing Nike? Guy had 1 legendary season under that moniker, and it yielded a championship….. It actually mattered. Get on it lights out, steal some filthy, nauseating sweatshop money.

  43. chicagogiantsfan says: Apr 14, 2014 11:49 PM

    Maybe the British rock band UFO can sue Merriman after he sues Nike. After all, in 1977 (or thereabouts) they had an album and a single named “Lights Out”. Pretty popular too, as I recall.

    Guess Merriman didn’t exactly invent the phrase.

  44. bullcharger says: Apr 15, 2014 12:00 AM

    Knee injuries? Steroids more like it. After he went off the sauce he could never get back to the same level.

  45. sdboltaction says: Apr 17, 2014 3:37 PM

    I’m so bummed he didn’t last much longer and be beastly like Lewis, Urlacher etc

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