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Tim Tebow apparel sales halted by Nike lawsuit against Reebok

Nike and Reebok, two of the largest players in the sports gear industry, are embroiled in an unholy spat over who gets to make and sell products featuring the name of newly minted New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.

Late Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan granted Nike Inc. a temporary restraining order that will prohibit Reebok International from profiting from jerseys and other paraphernalia stamped with the football star’s moniker.

The order also requires Reebok to recall all Tebow-related Jets gear currently on shelves.

Earlier in the week, Nike filed a lawsuit accusing Reebok of moving into Nike territory at a time when Tebow mania was especially high. The player, known for his on-the-field praying after every winning game, was traded to the Jets last week.

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Reebok’s rights to market Tebow apparel expired last month, according to the complaint, and the company’s overall licensing contract with the National Football League is set to end March 31.

Nike will take over for five years as the official supplier of NFL uniforms after Reebok’s decade-long stint. The restraining order does not apply to Tebow Denver Broncos goods manufactured by Reebok before March 1.

The companies will argue their cases in an April 4 hearing.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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