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Michael Jordan Files Lawsuit in China for Improper Use of His Name


Suit alleges that Qiaodan Sports Company Ltd. deliberately and aggressively used Michael Jordan's name without his permission and misled Chinese consumers

BEIJING, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Basketball legend Michael Jordan has filed suit in a Chinese court against Qiaodan Sports Company Limited, a Chinese sportswear and footwear manufacturer, for unauthorized use of his name.

Michael Jordan commented, "During my basketball career and now as a businessman, I've worked hard to establish my identity and brand, and I take tremendous pride in the shoes and apparel that feature my name and logo.

"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."

The Chinese company has registered and uses the name "Qiaodan", which is the moniker Michael Jordan has been known by in China since he gained widespread popularity in the mid-1980s. Jordan was first introduced to China while playing for the gold medal-winning U.S. basketball team during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He went on to become a regular fixture of Chinese television, beginning with the 1987 NBA All-Star Game, the first NBA game ever broadcast in China.

Under Chinese law, the plaintiff in a naming rights lawsuit is entitled to injunctive relief and damages where: 1) the individual is a famous public figure; 2) the defendant acts in bad faith by intentionally using the plaintiff's name or other personal attributes without authorization; and 3) the use of the plaintiff's name or other personal attributes damages the plaintiff by causing confusion among consumers who mistakenly associate the infringer, its products or services with the plaintiff. In recent months, other athletes have successfully pursued similar cases. 

Please visit the website at to access information relating to this lawsuit and to view a video message from Michael Jordan

An NBA legend, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2009. As a player, Jordan virtually rewrote the record book. He played 13 seasons for the Chicago Bulls, leading the league in scoring a record 10 times. His 30.1 points per game average is the highest in NBA history and, with 32,292 points, he ranks third on the all-time scoring list. Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championship titles and was named NBA Finals MVP during each of those series. A five-time regular season MVP, in 1991 and 1992, he became the only player to win back-to-back regular season and Finals MVP awards.

In March 2010, Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, after four years as part of the team's ownership group and its Managing Member of Basketball Operations. Jordan is the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA franchise.


For further information on the legal issue in China: 

United States: +1 202 393 7337 – Brunswick Group, Washington, D.C.
China: +86 10 6566 2256 – Brunswick Group, Beijing

For general inquiries regarding Michael Jordan, contact Estee Portnoy or Alyson Sadofsky: 

SOURCE Michael Jordan/JumpDC

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