Michael Jordan Is Taking a Chinese Sportswear Company to Supreme Court
In 2012, Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports, claiming that the Fujian-based manufacturer built its business around his Chinese name and jersey number ’23’ without consent. Since the 80s, he’s been widely known as Qiaodan throughout China. However, earlier this year, a court ruled in favor of Qiaodan over the trademark dispute, which was then upheld by the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court.
"In light of the trademark dispute ruling, we intend to appeal to the Supreme People's Court for retrial," Jordan’s legal team said in a statement. They added that a separate case with Qiaodan Sports over naming right is still ongoing.
In 2013, Qiaodan countersued Jordan for $8 million in damages. Trademark cases involving foreign brands are fairly common in China.
Qiaodan sells basketball sneakers and apparel emblazoned with the number ’23’ and a knockoff Jumpman logo. Though the company denies a direct link to Jordan, it has oddly trademarked ‘Jiefuli Qiaodan’ and ‘Makusi Qiaodan,’ the names of Jordan’s sons pronounced in Chinese.
When asked about the latest ruling, a Qiaodan legal spokesman said that the company will “respect the judgment of the court” and declined further comment.