On Thursday China’s highest court ruled in favor of U.S. basketball legend Michael Jordan at the end of a years-long trademark dispute.
The People’s Supreme Court ruled that a sportswear company with 6,000 shops in southern China called Qiaodan Sports must stop using the Chinese characters for Jordan’s name, read as “Qiaodan” in Chinese.
Jordan says the Chinese company built its business off of his identity, and the logo they use bears a similar resemblance to the iconic “Air Jordan” image that is used on Nike products.
Last year, a lower court in Beijing dismissed this case, ruling that “Jordan” is a common name used by Americans and that the logo was in the shape of a person with no facial features, making it “difficult” for consumers to identify.
Jordan said in a statement that millions of Chinese fans and consumers have always known him by the name Qiaodan, and that he was happy the court finally recognized his right to protect his name.
“Chinese consumers deserve to know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me. Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today’s decision shows the importance of that principle,” Jordan said.
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