Under Armour Responds to Former NFL Player Shawne Merriman’s Lawsuit

Under Armour football cleats quarterback Cam
Under Armour football cleats worn by quarterback Cam Newton.
AP Images.

Shawne Merriman leveled NFL offenses for eight seasons. Now he’s looking to tackle Under Armour.

The former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills and his company, Lights Out Holdings LLC, filed suit against the Baltimore-based athletic giant for trademark infringement and four other counts in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

The other counts are unfair competition, common law unfair competition, false endorsement and breach of contract.

NFL Shawne Merriman Ex NFL player Shawne Merriman. AP Images.

In the filing obtained by Footwear News, Merriman alleges Under Armour marketed as early as Oct. 30, 2016, its new signature sneaker line for NBA star Stephen Curry with the name “Curry 3 Lights Out” (the “Curry Lights Out Sneakers”). The result of the marketing, according to the lawsuit, was blogs publishing articles referring to the Curry Lights Out Sneakers with the name “Curry 3 Lights Out.”

The filing also alleges that Under Armour is marketing the Curry Lights Out Sneakers in other mediums, such as a mobile “Lights Out” game, and a line of shirts with the phrase “Hit the Lights” on them. The suit states the “Hit the Lights” usage is confusingly similar to and infringes on the Lights Out trademark.

Merriman, according to the filing, acquired a series of trademarks for “Lights Out” in 2007.

In an email to FN today, Under Armour responded to Merriman’s allegations.

“We are aware of Mr. Merriman’s claims and find them without merit. Under Armour plans to defend the case,” the brand said.

The filing also references a prior settlement between Merriman and Under Armour on March 11, 2015, that states the brand will “cease all use of, and will not register in the future, the term Lights Out as a trademark, service mark, or other source identifier to identify apparel products.”

The linebacker retired from the NFL in 2013.