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Michael Jordan wins trademark battle in China

Dec 9, 2016 China
Michael Jordan wins trademark battle in China
China’s Supreme People’s Court has officially ruled in favor of the ex-basketball player in a long-running trademark case against a sports company which traded under an identical name to Jordan’s Chinese name (Qiaodan)
It was assessed by the court that the Chinese firm Qiaodan Sports, which operates about 6 000 shops in the country, had shown “malicious intent” by registering trademarks for Jordan’s Chinese name.

However the court’s ruling is only a partial victory for Jordan. While the company cannot use Jordan's Chinese name, the court upheld a ruling allowing it to use the Romanized version of Qiaodan, pronounced "Chee-ow-dahn."

The judge said there was an established link between Jordan and the Chinese characters for “Qiaodan,” which are commonly used by the public when referring to the former basketball player, meaning that Jordan was entitled to protection under the Trademark Law.

“Chinese consumers deserve to know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me”, stated Jordan, also the chief executive officer of Nike’s Brand Jordan Division. “Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today’s decision shows the importance of that principle", the basketball legend added.

The legal battle dates back to 2012 when Jordan first sued the company, which is based in the south-eastern Fujian province. Jordan argued that it had damaged his legal rights to his name and asked that Qiaodan Sports’ trademark registrations be removed. Lower courts had ruled in favor of the Chinese company in 2014 arguing Qiaodan is the translation of a common family name in China. A decision, which was upheld by another court the following year. Now China’s top court decided opposite.

Image Credits: Getty Images

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