Mike Tyson sues Australian streetwear group Culture Kings after using his image on t-shirts ‘without permission’
- Since 2010, Tyson has owned the international trademark for ‘Mike Tyson’
- The former professional boxer filed a lawsuit in federal court
- He claims Culture Kings sold items nicknamed ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’
- Tyson said it would appear to a consumer that he was affiliated with the product
- Tyson claimed that Culture Kings did not ask his permission when making the shirts
Mike Tyson has sued Culture Kings after the Australian streetwear label used a photo of his face on its t-shirts without permission.
The American former professional boxer started proceedings in the Federal Court in Sydney against Culture Kings last Friday for ‘misleading and deceptive behaviour’.
Tyson, who has owned the international trademark for “Mike Tyson” since 2010, alleges that the clothing franchise sold items bearing his name and nicknames “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” without first seeking his permission.
Claiming to an unsuspecting consumer it would appear that he was involved with the product, the 54-year-old cited Australian consumer law stating that the company was making false and misleading statements.
Tyson, an American former professional boxer, filed a federal court lawsuit against Culture Kings last Friday for “misleading and deceptive conduct.”
Tyson, who has owned the international trademark for “Mike Tyson” since 2010, alleges that the clothing franchise sold items bearing his name and nicknames “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” without first seeking his permission. Pictured: A unisex t-shirt for sale at Culture Kings
References to Applicant, Applicant’s images, and the words ‘Mike Tyson’, ‘Tyson’, ‘Iron Mike’, ‘Iron Mike Tyson’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’ would lead a consumer to purchase a product containing these references, images and words with the Applicant, and with the international fame, reputation and recognition of the Applicant,’ the filing claims, according to The age.
Despite multiple shutdown warnings being sent, Culture Kings still has most of its Mike Tyson-themed merchandise for sale on its website, with some items remaining on mortar store racks as well.
The company, which has eight brick-and-mortar stores but primarily operates online, reportedly made a staggering $183 million in revenue last year with profits of just $19.4 million.
Culture Kings sold 50 percent of the company to a US private equity firm to buy the US apparel market, the deal valued the company at $600 million.
Lawsuits have been filed against all of the Culture Kings companies, as well as founders Simon, 36, and Tah-nee Beard, 32, who together have a net worth of $626 million.
Founded in 2008 by the Gold Coast husband and wife, Culture Kings has 500 employees on its books across Australia.
Shortly after they started dating, they combined their savings and started planning their first store.
The company, which has eight brick-and-mortar stores but primarily operates online, reportedly had sales of a staggering $183 million last year with profits of just $19.4 million.
Mr. Beard even once spent $120,000 developing his elite business skills, including a one-on-one meeting with the original Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort.
“To build the company from scratch and fund it all by ourselves… it was intense,” he said.
“We were all in… we had to be.”
Shortly after the store opened on the Gold Coast, others followed in Sydney and Melbourne.
They prided themselves on being different: DJs in shops, barber shops and basketball courts became the norm for Culture Kings.
The company, which has Justin Bieber and Cristiano Ronaldo as clients, has successfully tapped into the millennial and teen markets for more than a decade.