Mar 26; Florham Park, NJ, USA; Newly acquired New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow addresses the media at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Nike, Reebok Settle Lawsuit Over Tim Tebow Jerseys

Two weeks after Nike filed suit against Reebok, the matter has been settled.

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Nike, Reebok Settle Tim Tebow Jersey Lawsuit

Two weeks after Nike filed suit against Reebok for illegally producing Tim Tebow Jets jerseys, the companies came to terms on a settlement agreement. The settlement requires Reebok to eliminate any Tebow Jets clothing from the sales chain. Reebok will also buy back any remaining apparel from stores.

Shortly after Tebow was traded to the New York Jets, Reebok began producing Tebow Jets jerseys. This was illegal because Reebok's NFL player license had expired on March 1, two weeks before the trade. Player jersey production requires licensed permission from both the league and the NFL Players Association. Reebok retained their league mark license until April 1, but without the player license, the jerseys could not legally be manufactured.

A judge recently extended a temporary restraining order into a permanent injunction, having decided Nike had a likelihood of success on the merits of their lawsuit. Reebok had to recognize they had no chance of winning. Nike likely settled this lawsuit ahead of trial to avoid any headaches that can come with a jury trial.


Nike Lawsuit: Judge Rules Against Reebok, Extends Temporary Restraining Order

A week after Nike filed suit against Reebok for unauthorized production and sales of Tim Tebow Jets jerseys, a judge has extended a temporary restraining order against Reebok pending the outcome of the lawsuit. Shortly after filing the lawsuit, Nike applied for and was granted the order restraining Reebok from producing or selling any of the jerseys.

Reebok was allowed to respond to the TRO, but the judge's ruling indicates Nike successfully provided proof of a probability of success on the merits. Although Nike met this threshold, it does not end the case. Rather, Reebok simply cannot produce or sell the jerseys while the case continues.

In reality, Reebok and Nike are likely to settle this case because Reebok would appear to have no real defense other than to feign ignorance, and Nike likely would prefer not to spend a ton of money on legal fees. There are two licenses required to produce player jerseys: 1) the license for league marks (e.g. team names) and 2) the individual player license, which is acquired either through the NFLPA or directly through the player. The Reebok league license expired April 1, but their player license expired March 1. Accordingly, they could produce league gear, but nothing new with player information on the apparel.


Tim Tebow Jersey Lawsuit: Judge Grants Nike Temporary Restraining Order Against Reebok

A day after Nike filed suit against Reebok over the unauthorized manufacture and sale of Tim Tebow's Jets jerseys, a judge has granted Nike a temporary restraining order against its competitor. The order requires Reebok immediately to stop producing and selling the Jets-Tebow products. Someone might want to tell (h/t PFT).

This is not a final ruling, but rather a temporary measure while the case is assessed on its merits. The order is issued pending a hearing on an injunction that would permanently halt Reebok's production of jerseys. The order is based off the information provided by Nike, which means Reebok still has an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Given the licensing dates specified in the complaint, it should be a fairly straight-forward process. If Reebok did not have the proper permission from Tim Tebow or the NFL Players Association, it would not be allowed to manufacture these jerseys. It is unlikely Reebok will admit to any sort of purposeful wrongdoing given the kind of punitive damages it could face. However, Reebok could try to play it off as an innocent mistake due to some sort of confusion of dates.


Tim Tebow Jets Jerseys Cause Nike To Sue Reebok

Following the Tim Tebow trade to the New York Jets, Reebok began manufacturing new Tebow jerseys. Nike is taking offense to that due to their new player license and has filed suit.

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