The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Michael Jordan China Lawsuit a Go After All

Earlier this week it seemed that the Michael Jordan China lawsuit was down for the count after a Beijing court reportedly was unwilling to take on his trademark infringement case against sporting goods company Qiaodan, reports the Huffington Post.

However, an unidentified Chinese court apparently has agreed to step up and take on the case.

Last week, the basketball legend announced he was suing Qiaodan for profiting off of his name. Qiaodan is a transliteration of Jordan and in a The China Times survey, 90% of Chinese customers associate Qiaodan as being affiliated with Michael Jordan. It isn't.

The Jordan name is worth billions of dollars, and companies like Nike and McDonald's pay the former Chicago Bull very well to use his name, likeness, and endorsement. Justifiably, Jordan believes that Qiaodan is unfairly profiting off of his name and wants them to stop.

As we wrote last week, the biggest obstacle in the Michael Jordan China lawsuit is likely jurisdiction. In almost any court in the United States, Jordan would probably have an open and shut case against a company using his name to profit without his permission. But China is not obligated to follow U.S. copyright and trademark laws, and it's not clear what legal footing Jordan had to sue Qiaodan in a Chinese court.

Just because a Chinese court agreed to hear the case, this does not mean Michael Jordan has won anything besides his day in court. A probable result of the court hearing may just be a decision that Jordan cannot sue after all.

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