Michael Jordan Loses China Trademark Lawsuit: Latest Details, Reaction

2015-07-29
Tim Daniels
Featured Columnist  ————————————————
A trademark lawsuit filed by NBA legend Michael Jordanagainst Qiaodan Sports Co. in the Chinese court system for using a name and images similar to those of his own Jordan Brand with Nike reportedly failed Wednesday.

The Agence France-Presse, via Yahoo Sports, reports that after Chinese authorities and a lower court denied his request, he appealed to the Beijing Higher People's Court, which also ruled against him. The report includes a transcript of the verdict courtesy of Chinese outlet Sohu.

"'Jordan' is not the only possible reference for 'Qiaodan' in the trademark under dispute," the court stated in the verdict. "In addition, 'Jordan' is a common surname used by Americans."

The court stated that since the logo being used doesn't include any facial features, there wasn't enough evidence to prove it represented Jordan. Thus, it didn't feel there was a basis to enforce trademark rights.

Adam Jourdan of Reuters reported following the previous denial back in May that Qiaodan Sports had filed a counter suit against Jordan in 2013 for damaging its reputation with the case, seeking $8 million in damages.

It's not all bad news for Jordan, though. Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes notes that Jordan Brand made $2.6 billion in United States shoe sales alone in 2014, and the former basketball star raked in $100 million from sponsorship deals.

Being able to further establish trademark rights in the massive overseas market would have served to expand his empire. But the Chinese courts have ruled against him every step of the way.