Mike Tyson sues Australian streetwear group Culture Kings after using his image on t-shirts


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 began proceedings in the Federal Court
  • He claims Culture Kings sold items with nicknames ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’
  • Tyson said it would appear to a consumer that he was affiliated with the product 
  • Tyson alleged Culture Kings didn’t seek 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 began proceedings in the Federal Court in Sydney last Friday against Culture Kings for ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’.

Tyson, who since 2010 has owned the international trademark for ‘Mike Tyson,’ alleges the clothing franchise sold items with his name and nicknames ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’ without first seeking his consent.

The 54-year-old claims it would appear to an unsuspecting consumer that he was affiliated with the product, and cited Australian Consumer Law saying the company made false and misleading representations.

Tyson, an American former professional boxer, began proceedings in the Federal Court last Friday against Culture Kings for 'misleading and deceptive conduct'.

Tyson, an American former professional boxer, began proceedings in the Federal Court last Friday against Culture Kings for ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’.

Tyson, who since 2010 has owned the international trademark for 'Mike Tyson,' alleges the clothing franchise sold items with his name and nicknames 'Iron Mike' and 'Kid Dynamite' without first seeking his consent. Pictured: a unisex t shirt for sale at Culture Kings

Tyson, who since 2010 has owned the international trademark for ‘Mike Tyson,’ alleges the clothing franchise sold items with his name and nicknames ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’ without first seeking his consent. Pictured: a unisex t shirt for sale at Culture Kings 

‘References to the Applicant, images of the Applicant, and the words ‘Mike Tyson’, ‘Tyson’, ‘Iron Mike’, ‘Iron Mike Tyson’, and ‘Kid Dynamite’, would cause a consumer to associate a product bearing those references, images and words with the Applicant, and with the Applicant’s international fame, reputation and recognition,’ the filing claims, according to The Age. 

Despite being sent multiple cease and desist warnings, Culture Kings still has most of its Mike Tyson-themed merchandise available for sale on its website, with some items also remaining on racks in mortar stores.

The company, which has eight bricks and mortar stores but operates primarily online, reportedly made a staggering $183million in revenue last year with just a $19.4million profit.

Culture Kings sold 50 per cent of the business to a private equity firm in the US to buy into the American clothing market, with the deal valuing the company at $600 million.

Proceedings have been filed against all Culture Kings companies as well as its founders Simon, 36, and Tah-nee Beard, 32, who have a combined net worth of $626million.

Culture Kings, founded in 2008 by the Gold Coast husband and wife, has 500 employees on its books across Australia.

Shortly after they started dating, the pair combined their savings and began planning their first store.

The company, which has eight bricks and mortar stores but operates primarily online, reportedly made a staggering $183 million in revenue last year with just a $19.4 million profit

The company, which has eight bricks and mortar stores but operates primarily online, reportedly made a staggering $183 million in revenue last year with just a $19.4 million profit

Mr Beard even once spent $120,000 to develop his elite business skills, including a one-on-one meeting with the original Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort.

‘To build the business from scratch and self-fund it the whole way…it was intense,’ he said.

‘We were all in… we had to be.’

Soon after the store opened on the Gold Coast, others followed in Sydney and Melbourne.

Priding themselves on being different, in store DJs, barber shops and basketball courts became the norm for Culture Kings.

The company, which boasts Justin Bieber and Cristiano Ronaldo among their clients, has successfully tapped into the millennial and teenage market for more than a decade. 



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