Michael Jordan wins rights to his Chinese name in trademark battle in China’s top court

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Michael Jordan has won part of his trademark case against a China-based sportswear company, following the retired basketball legend’s years-long struggle for control over the rights to his Chinese name.

In a ruling by the Chinese supreme court, Qiaodan Sports Co, based in south-eastern Fujian province, must stop using the Chinese characters for Qiaodan on its merchandise, according to a transcript of court records posted on an official website.

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Qiaodan Sports has more than 6,000 stores across China. Michael Jordan says it built its business off his identity.

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The word is a Chinese rendering of Jordan’s name that is widely known by the country’s consumers.

The supreme court did not stop the company from using phonetic spellings of Jordan’s Chinese name using the English alphabet, however, saying they do not infringe on his right to use his name in the country.

 

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“I am happy that the supreme people’s court has recognised the right to protect my name through its ruling in the trademark cases,” Jordan said in a statement.

“Today’s decision ensures that my Chinese fans and all Chinese consumers know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me.”

The former Chicago Bulls player asked Chinese authorities in 2012 to revoke the company’s trademarks, which featured a similar name and logo to Jordan’s Nike-produced brand.

The six-time NBA champion, who retired in 2003, accused the company of misleading consumers about its ties to him by using the name along with a silhouette of a leaping basketball player resembling the “Jumpman” logo used by Nike to promote its Air Jordan brand.

Air Jordan 11 Jumpman
Air Jordan 11 Jumpman

Jordan filed his appeal to China’s highest court after his claims were rejected by two lower courts.

 

 

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