Michael Jordan sues Chinese sportswear company
23 February 2012
by Stephen Gregory
American basketball star Michael Jordan has launched a lawsuit against a Chinese sportswear manufacturer which he claims is using his Chinese name unlawfully.
Qiaodan Sports —whose name is taken from a crude Chinese transliteration of the name Jordan and bases itself in Fujian —is accused by Jordan of building its entire business around his name and number 23 jersey, which they are accused of using without permission. The lawsuit also complains about the use of Chinese names which resemble those of the former Chicago Bulls player’s children.
In a statement Jordan said: "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.”
"This complaint is not about money. It's about principle and protecting my name," he added.
A spokesman for the Chinese company was not able to comment, having not received details of the case, although in a prospectus prepared for a public stock offering the company states that it does not use Jordan’s image and has exclusive rights to the name Qiaodan, which it has registered as a trademark in China.
Qiaodan Sports became the official partner of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in 2012 and is also Olympic partner of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It has a registered capital of 450,000,000 yuan, which equates to around £45.5m.