After a five year-long legal battle, Michael Jordan has finally won the rights to the Chinese version of his name.
China’s Supreme People’s Court, the highest in the country, ruled Thursday that the NBA superstar can have his name 乔丹 (pronounced “Chee-ow-dahn”) back from retailer Qiaodan Sports.
Qiaodan Sports is a family-owned business based in Fujian province, Bloomberg noted. It registered the trademark over a decade ago, and it was in 2012 when Jordan filed a lawsuit. He sought to have the retailer’s trademark registrations removed.
But to Jordan’s dismay, lower courts ruled in favor of the retailer. Last year, a Beijing court concluded that “Jordan” is a common surname of many Americans, adding that the logo Qiaodan Sports used had no facial features.
Jordan’s legal team eventually pushed to the bring the case to China’s top court.
Following the latest ruling, Jordan couldn’t be happier. The basketball player told Reuters:
“I am happy that the Supreme People’s Court has recognized the right to protect my name through its ruling in the trademark cases. Chinese consumers deserve to know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me.”
Meanwhile, Qiaodan Sports said in a blog post that it respects the court’s decision and vows to safeguard the intellectual property of its brands according to law.
But then again, it must be stressed that the company will only surrender its registration of 乔丹. It can still use Qiaodan, the pinyin (romanized) version, Shanghaiist said.
Image via Flickr / Basket Streaming