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Qiaodan Sports Sues Michael Jordan

Apr 9, 2013
Translated by Liu Jingyue

Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan Sports Company Limited (乔丹体育), which (allegedly) gets its name from a Sinified version of Michael Jordan's last name, is now suing Jordan for suing them two years ago just as Qiaodan was set to debut on the stock market.

This game of kick-the-lawsuit started back in November of 2011, when Michael Jordan accused the company of misleading consumers by illegally using his name and the names of his two sons on their products.

Qiaodan Sports was about to become the first listed sports company in China at the time, but was set back by the lawsuit.

According to an article in today's Securities Daily, On Mar 26 of this year, Qiaodan Sports sued Jordan in Fujian's Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court, demanding that Jordan restore the company's reputation by formally apologizing for damaging the company's brand name – and that he pay 8 million dollars in compensation for its economic losses.

Qiaodan issued a statement arguing that while they respect Michael Jordan, his lawsuit came at such a crucial moment in the company's development that it impeded its IPO (Initial Public Offering) process and its overall expansion.

Not Jordan's Full Name

Qiaodan Sports pointed out that the Chinese name Qiaodan (乔丹) is only a translation of the English word "Jordan", not Michael Jordan's full or real name.

According to China's Civil Law, only foreigners living in China enjoy the protection of naming rights. And, since Jordan has never lived in China, he doesn't have the right to sue.

There are about 4,600 Chinese citizens with the name Qiaodan and even more foreigners that have translated their names to Qiaodan.

Therefore, Qiaodan Sports says, the name doesn't belong exclusively to Michal Jordan.

Michael Jordan is a partner of Nike, a global sportswear giant that operates China, which brought the question of Qiaodan's trademark to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce more than 10 times.

In 2012,the China Trademark Review and Adjudication Board rejected Nike's trademark cancellation application against Qiaodan Sports, saying that "Qiaodan" was not Michael Jordan's real and full name.

Links and Sources
Securities Daily:  乔丹体育起诉球星乔丹损害名誉 欲索赔800万美元
Economic Observer Online: This Jordan Is Not That Jordan
Economic Observer Online: This Jordan Sues that Jordan


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