A Chinese sports company finds themselves in hot water after using the namesake of one of the most recognized athletes in the world. Retired NBA legend, and current Charlotte Bobcats boss, Michael Jordan has caught wind that the Qiaodan (cheow-DEN) Sports Company has been using Jordan’s trademark number 23 and jerseys bearing his name in Chinese for years. In a statement, Jordan put the sportswear chain on notice after filing a lawsuit on Tuesday.
“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,” Jordan said. “This complaint is not about money. It’s about principle and protecting my name.”
Jordan further said that any damages won would be directly reinvested in promoting basketball in China. His Airness faces an uphill battle, so says the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ grabbed a quote from attorney Dan Harris, who said, “Chinese judges are not looking to shut a business down and lay off thousands of workers.” Harris said Jordan could possibly manage a settlement with the company to allow Qiaodan to use his name by way of a licensing fee. According to Jordan’s attorneys, the Hall of Famer may be open to such a deal.
“Mr. Jordan is not interested in putting Qiaodan out of business, but he wants to reclaim his name and identity,” said Josh Gartner, a spokesman for Jordan’s legal teams at Jun He Law Offices and Fangda Partners. “He wants to make sure Chinese consumers understand the products they are buying and are not misled.”