Michael Jordan Loses Lawsuit Regarding His ‘Jumpman’ Trademark
Six-time NBA champion, Michael Jordan recently lost a suit against the China based company, Qiaodan Sports Co, that attempted to revoke the trademark of the sportswear company under grounds that it was misleading consumers into thinking it was a Jordan Brand product.
The Qiaodan shoe’s ‘jumpman’ compared to the original, differs in that two bent knees are mimicking more of a dribbling crossover, where Jordan’s ‘jumpman’ has two straight legs and an extended arm, which mimics his famous air walk dunk.
In China, however, Jordan’s requests for a trial were denied, but when he appealed to the Beijing Higher People’s Court, they ruled against him, a Sohu news station reported.
When Jordan first issued his claim, he released a statement saying,
“I am very happy that the Chinese courts have accepted my case to protect the use of my name and the interests of Chinese consumers. Qiaodan Sports has built a business off my Chinese name, the number 23, and even attempted to use the names of my children, without authorization. I think Chinese consumers deserve to be protected from being misled, and they should know exactly what they are buying. I am taking this action to preserve the ownership of my name and my brand. No one should lose control of their own name, and the acceptance of my case shows that China recognizes that this is true for everyone. After all, what’s more personal than your name?
The court’s decision was based off of the reasoning that “’Jordan’ is not the only possible reference for ‘Qiaodan’ in the trademark under dispute. In addition, ‘Jordan’ is a common surname used by Americans.” For this reason, the court said that consumers would not be misled in thinking that the particular ‘jumpman’ was Jordan, further explaining that there insufficient evidence to prove it.
While it may seem overly aggressive of Jordan to challenge a similar trademark, China is on the US’s Priority Watch List of trading partners that have lax protection of intellectual property rights – many times being seen as a counterfeiters’ heaven.
The company under dispute, Qiaodan Sports Co, which is based in the eastern province of Fujian, has not issued a counter statement.