Basketball legend and sneaker mogul, Michael Jordan, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in a Chinese court against Qiaodan Sports Company Limited for unauthorized use of his name, reports the Chicago Tribune.
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Since rising to fame in the mid-’80’s, Jordan has been known as Qiaodan (乔丹) in China. According to the complaint filed by the Jun He and Fangda Partners law firms, the company is purposely misleading consumers because 90% of young people outside of China’s major cities think Jordan owns Qiaodan Sports, reports the China Law Blog. Jordan claims that the sportswear company has built its brand on his legacy and he doesn’t plan to let it continue:
It is deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the number 23 and even attempt to use the names of my children. I am taking this action to preserve ownership of my name and my brand.We live in a competitive marketplace, and Chinese consumers, like anyone else, have a huge amount of choice when it comes to buying clothing, shoes and other merchandise. Chinese fans have always been very supportive of me, and that’s something I deeply appreciate. I think they deserve to know what they are buying.
This complaint is not about money. It’s about principle and protecting my name. Any monetary awards I might receive will be invested in growing the sport of basketball in China.”
A Qiaodan Sports spokesman declined to make a statement until further details are received from the legal department.
Jeremy Lin, the off the bench hero for the New York Knicks and the underdog story du jour, is currently in the process of trademarking “Linsanity,” and according to the Tribune, is facing similar legal issues in China. A woman in Eastern China is attempting to register his name in Chinese letters, according to the Shanghai Daily newspaper.
To view a video message from Michael Jordan speaking on his legal issues with Qiaodan Sports, head over to his official blog, The Real Jordan.