Mike Tyson is suing the Boxing Hall of Fame for trademark infringement for allegedly using his face and name without permission. The Boxing Hall of Fame claims to own “one of the world’s largest collections of boxing display memorabilia.”
The lawsuit was filed [PDF] in a Nevada federal court, claiming BHF is violating Tyson’s trademark by selling apparel and other merchandise with his likeness and his “Iron Mike” nickname. Tyson claims his own name is a federally registered mark and, while ‘Iron Mike’ is not officially registered, the nickname is “widely known by the general public to be Mr. Tyson’s nickname.” BHF also, allegedly, negotiated with vendors to use Tyson’s name and likeness on other products like energy bars, energy drinks, health-related products, and gaming products, again, without his consent.
The main examples within the lawsuit are photographic evidence of t-shirts being sold by the company on Amazon.com without Tyson’s authorization, thus, allegedly infringing on Tyson’s trademark(s). Further to these online sales, the complaint suggests that Boxing Hall of Fame has entered into various agreements with other major online vendors (N.B these are not named as defendants, so we don’t need to list them!) to “sell products that are purportedly ‘officially licensed’ and that bear Mr. Tyson’s name, likeness, and marks.”
Tyson gave defendants notice that such activities infringe on his rights, and ordered them to cease and desist using his name and likeness.
“Defendants have used and exploited the registered trademark MIKE TYSON without Mr. Tyson’s consent or authorization in connection with apparel and other items that Defendants offer for sale directly or through third-party vendors in a manner that is likely to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive,” in violation of the Lanham Act, the complaint states.
It is hoped by Tyson and his team that the lawsuit will grant him a trial by jury and an injunction for BHF to prevent them from using his name and likeness. In relation to damages being sought; an award of treble damages — which would mean triple the final amount a jury decides on — and all profits made from the alleged trademark violations; the destruction of the allegedly infringing articles; punitive damages; and attorneys fees and costs.