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Shawne Merriman is suing Nike over 'Lights Out' trademark

The former NFL linebacker won't let the apparel company's unchecked aggression stand.

Shawne Merriman won't take this lying down.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports / Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, Shawne Merriman spent his days turning the lights out on the NFL. Now he's trying to do the same the Nike.

The former linebacker is suing the apparel giant over its use of the name "Lights Out" for a new clothing line. The problem here is Merriman says the name violates his trademark.

"Lights Out" was a nickname for Merriman back in his playing days. It was also the name of Shawne's signature dance move, which you can see below:

Donald Miralle / Getty Images North America

Merriman issued a release, saying the he and Nike had negotiations in 2006 for a "Lights Out" clothing line which eventually fell apart. However, it seems that Nike went ahead with the line anyway. Merriman's company Lights Out Holdings LLC filed a lawsuit in California seeking an injunction and up to $2 million per item. The clothing line includes hats, shorts, etc.

"I earned my 'Lights Out' nickname in high school when I knocked out four opposing players in one football game," Merriman said in that 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."

Well, alright then. It's clear that Shawne will not let this (alleged) unchecked agggression stand. He can use that attitude in his new job with World Wrestling Entertainment.

(H/T to San Diego Union-Tribune for the story)

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