A court in Beijing this week dismissed a case brought by NBA champion Michael Jordan against a Fujian-based sporting goods retailer that he accused of infringing upon his trademark.
Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports Co. back in 2012 on claims that the manufacturer used his name and jersey number to gain profits without his consent.
Qiaodan (乔丹) is the transliteration of the NBA star’s surname in Chinese, and he’s widely referred to as such in the country.
The company’s products also incorporate the number 23 and a silhouette of a basketball player which bears more than a passing resemblance to the iconic “Jumpman” logo used by Nike in its Air Jordan line.
After Jordan’s case was refused by a lower court in Beijing, he appealed to the Supreme People’s Court, which has also ruled in favor of Qiaodan, according to Yahoo News, citing Sohu.
“‘Jordan’ is not the only possible reference for ‘Qiaodan’ in the trademark under dispute,” it cited a transcript of the verdict as saying.
“In addition, ‘Jordan’ is a common surname used by Americans,” the court added according to the report Monday, and the logo was in the shape of a person with no facial features, so that it was “hard” for consumers to identify it as Jordan.
There was insufficient evidence to prove the trademark referred to the US star, it concluded.
Notably, the sports company had previously trademarked “Jiefuli Qiaodan” and “Makusi Qiaodan”, transliterations of Michael’s sons Jeffrey and Marcus.
Qiaodan filed an 8 million USD countersuit against Jordan in 2013 for damages to its reputation which ‘prevented the company from pursuing an IPO’.
[Images via China.org // therealjordan.com]