Michael Jordan

Basketball legend Michael Jordan has filed a lawsuit in China against a Chinese sportswear company, accusing the firm of unauthorized use of his name and for using almost an identical logo.

The Basketball Hall of Fame recipient and former Chicago Bulls star said on Thursday that Qiaodan Sports, a company located in the southern Fujian province, had built its business around his Chinese name and jersey number without his permission.

Jordan is known as Qiaodan in basketball-mad China that has produced its own basketball superstar in Yao Ming. The moniker was registered by Qiaodan Sports, the statement said. It did not specify what compensation Jordan was seeking from the company.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Chinese company defended its use of the name.

“Qiaodan is a trademark registered under the Chinese law by our company and the legitimate use of the trademark is protected,” Qiaodan Sports said in emailed comments.

Over the past few years, the company has become the Olympic partner of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. And in 2010, it became the official partner of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Jordan filed the case on Tuesday in a Chinese court.

Michael Jordan had this to say in an interview:

I’ve established a name, a likeness and an identity that represents me. When you see the Jordan brand its a direct connection of who I am.

I’ve always thought my name means everything to me and something that I own. When someone takes advantage or misrepresents that it’s left up to me to protect that, he added.

That goes for everyone all over the world. Your name is your DNA. When someone takes it, I think it’s a violation.

I have no other choice but to turn to the courts. I feel the need to protect my name, my identity and the Chinese consumers.

It’s deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the number 23 and even try to use my children’s names, he stated.

This complaint is not about money. It’s about principle and protecting my name.’

Source : Reuters

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