After losing twice at lower courts, basketball legend Michael Jordan is appealing to China’s highest court in a last-ditch effort to prevent what he claims is the unauthorized use of his name and likeness.
The Supreme Court of China began hearing Jordan’s trademark lawsuit on Tuesday. Jordan claims Chinese sportswear company, Qiaodan, is using his name and likeness without his permission. “Qiaodan” (乔丹) is the Chinese equivalent of “Jordan”.
However, Qiaodan Sportswear allege that since there are 4,200 Chinese citizens named “Qiaodan”, Jordan can’t lay claim to exclusive use of the name. The company further claims that Jordan only became aware of the company following a significant increase in the company’s market value.
Attorneys for Jordan argue that Qiaodan Sportswear has registered 60 trademarks in Jordan’s name in China, leading the public to believe that Qiaodan Sportswear is associated with the basketball legend.
Qiaodan Sportswear first registered the trademarks back in 2000, more than 12 years before Jordan filed his first lawsuit.
The trial is ongoing.