It’s kind of an oldie, but it’s still a goodie… Remember when Michael Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports for ripping off his name? Well, now Qiaodan is coming back with a lawsuit of their own against Jordan to the tune of $8 million bucks.
The Fujian-based company’s suit was accepted by a Quanzhou court on April 2nd after they claimed Jordan tarnished their reputation and delayed their plans for an initial public offering on the Chinese stock market. Qiaodan Sports, founded in June 2000, was approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission in November 2011 for listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The news was originally reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The original suit, filed by Jordan, alledged that Qiaodan used his name, image and #23 without his permission. Qiaodan is the Chinese translation of Jordan. In addition, Jordan also accused the company of registering the names of his sons among 100 total infringements.
Our take: This would have been way better if Qiaodan had sued for $23 million.
But in seriousness, Jordan is in the right on this one. It’s one thing to say the name Qiaodan — which upon mention to any person in China will automatically evoke a discussion about the basketball player — is not an infringement on His Airness’ name is one thing (even though it is), but when you register the names of his sons and copiously use the #23 on many of your advertisements and products, there’s really no defense. Because it’s blatant copying.
We’ll see if the courts see it the same way.