Judge extends Reebok Tebow jersey ban

April 4, 2012 at 7:30 PM
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NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge ruled Wednesday in New York apparel maker Reebok International must continue to refrain from selling New York Jets Tim Tebow jerseys.

Rival clothing maker Nike Inc. claimed in a suit filed in U.S. District Court last month Reebok took advantage of a lapse in the rights to such apparel by jumping into the market with a Jets jersey bearing the signal-caller's name and number after his March 21 trade from the Denver Broncos to New York.

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel had earlier issued a restraining order against Reebok, and Wednesday extended it, citing "a probability of success on the merits" of Nike's complaint, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In the suit, Nike claims Reebok's license to market NFL products lapsed March 1, while its own $1.1 billion deal with the league didn't begin until April 1.

"Reebok has sought to take advantage of this unique, short-lived opportunity by supplying, without authorization or license, Tebow identified New York Jets apparel to retailers in New York and elsewhere around the country," the lawsuit asserts.

Reebok said it had hoped to add Tebow's name to its existing stock of blank Jets jerseys and sell them under a provision that allows for such sales, the Journal said.

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