Will the Real “Iron Mike” Please Stand Up?: Mike Tyson Hit with Trademark Infringement Lawsuit
by Bryanna Fissori
What’s in a name? Apparently the make-or-break of a career according to “Iron Mike” Landrum Sr. who flied suit on June 30th for trademark infringement against Mike Tyson with whom he shares the same ring name.
This is round two for the “Iron Mikes.” Both fighters now retired and in their 50’s have had vastly difference careers, though Landrum insists that this is strongly because of the confusion of who is who between the two men. Landrum is reportedly 6-4-1 in his professional career, though that record is not available on boxrecs and is hardly similar to Tyson’s record of 44-5-2. In 2010 Landrum attempted a similar suit, but it was dismissed for lack of merit. At the time, a case was also brought by Landrum against the Spike TV series “Knockout Sportsworld” for using the “Iron Mike” name but was dismissed early due to lack of timeliness in process service. Neither case ever saw a jury.
Seven years later, and 30 years or so since last competing, Landrum is giving it another shot. This most recent cause of action was filed June 30, 2017 in the Nevada Ninth Circuit District Court. The case calls for $55 million in damages and an injunction to cease use of the name by Tyson. Apparently the value of the “Iron Mike” label has gone down since the 2010 lawsuit, which requested $115 million. There even seems to be some suggestion through Landrum’s social media and YouTube channel, that he would be interested in real ring battle of the “Iron Mikes.”
There is no specific federal statue of limitations on trademark infringement cases and the limitation is left to state policy, but generally Nevada uses a four year statute (Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. et al v. High Impact Design & Entertainment, et al).
The common law Doctrine of Laches defense is also available in Nevada when the defending party’s circumstances have been significantly changed due a delay in bringing the cause of action. So, maybe if Landrum would have sued 30 years ago, before “Iron Mike” Tyson became a household name he would have a much more realistic chance, but given the application of the doctrine it is unlikely.
Neither the legal nor athletic cards seem to be stacked Landrum’s favor.