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Nike Sues Reebok for Interference & Misappropriation of Tebow Rights

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Jonathan Cooper
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With the ink on his new contract with the New York Jets barely dry, a lawsuit had already been filed in one of New York's federal courts over the rights to the exclusive marketing Tim Tebow's apparel.

Welcome to New York, Tim!

Apparently, with their exclusive rights to the NFL's uniform jerseys about to expire, Reebok rushed to flood sporting goods retailers with new Jets Tebow jerseys. Since Nike just inked a five-year contract for those exclusive rights, however, and understandably didn't want to lose out on this narrow window of opportunity to profit from the anticipated rush by fans to buy Tebow apparel. Hence, the emergent application by Nike for a temporary restraining order barring Reebok from selling the Tebow apparel, claiming that Reebok was acting in a fashion that would effectively dilute the value of Nike's contracts, and thereby be guilty of tortious interference with their contractual relations, as well as misappropriation of the exclusive rights to market and sell Tim Tebow's apparel.

From news reports issued earler today, it appears that the court has issued a temporary restraining order in favor of Nike. It certainly will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially considering that it doesn't appear that Nike's contracts have become effective as yet.

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