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Michael Jordan's legal shot in China

posted 23 Feb 2012, 05:31 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 23 Feb 2012, 05:31 ]

U.S. basketball legend Michael Jordan has filed a lawsuit in China against Chinese sportswear manufacturer "Qiaodan", accusing the firm of unauthorised use of his Chinese name.

CHINA-JORDAN'S LAWSUIT - He's got one of the most famous names in sport, but Michael Jordan isn't happy with how it's being used.

The basketball legend has launched a lawsuit against a Chinese sportswear company called "Qiaodan."

He says the use of the Chinese version of his name and their use of his symbolic number 23 shirt have not been authorised.


FORMER NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER MICHAEL JORDAN SAYING:

"It's something that I own. When someone takes advantage of misrepresenting that, I think it's left up to me to protect that. And I think that's for everyone, not just Michael Jordan. I think it's everyone globally, all over the world, when you have your name, it is your DNA and when someone takes it, then I think that is a violation that you want to protect it in every moment."

The company has over 5000 stores across China.

It reports annual profits of around 500 million U.S. dollars.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in China.

In 2010 the store became the official partner of the International Basketball Federation.

And locals in Fujian don't see what all the fuss is about.


 26-YEAR-OLD LOCAL RESIDENT SHEN ZHENGYU, SAYING:

"I don't think China's Qiaodan brand infringes Michael Jordan's name. I feel they are using a name and their logo is different from the Jordan logo featured by Nike. If it is just about the name, there are many people called Jordan. So if it just the name, it should not be infringement of his rights."


24-YEAR-OLD LOCAL RESIDENT CAI QINGJIAN SAYING:

" I was quite shocked. I feel that the logo of Jordan (Nike) is different from that of Qiaodan, why should there be any infringement? I cannot really understand it."

The former NBA star fronts his own division of Nike products, and is reported to make tens of millions of dollars each year through various endorsement deals.

But Jordan he says the case is not financial and has vowed to protect his legal rights.

MIAMI, USA 


FORMER NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER MICHAEL JORDAN SAYING:

"I have no other choice but to turn to the courts. All the athletes would have done the same. I feel the need to protect my name, my identity and the Chinese consumers."


Legal tangles over business names in China are not uncommon.

A case opened in Shanghai this week between Apple and Chinese firm Proview Technology over the use of the name iPad.


A spokesman for Qiaodan Sports says the company is yet to receive any information on the case from their legal department.


Ciara Sutton, Reuters

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