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.

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