Michael Jordan’s representatives present at the Supreme People’s Court when the controversial trademark case is brought to final trial in Beijing on December 8, 2016. [Photo: sohu.com]
The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on Thursday issued a ruling that favored part of the claims lodged by U.S. basketball icon Michael Jordan against a Chinese firm and the trademark authority.
The court ruled that the trademark in dispute, “Qiaodan,” the Chinese translation for Jordan, violated Jordan’s right to his name and broke provisions in the Trademark Law.
The registration of the “Qiaodan” trademark will also be revoked.
The court also ruled that Jordan has no exclusive rights to the use of the alphabetic spelling of “Qiaodan,” which is the Pinyin (phonetic spelling) of the Chinese characters, and rejected his claims in this regard.
The SPC in April publicly tried the trademark dispute case filed by Jordan.
In 2012, Michael Jordan accused Qiaodan Sports Co. Ltd., a Chinese sportswear and shoe manufacturer, of unauthorized use of his name and identity.
Jordan lodged an appeal to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce to revoke the trademarks in dispute, but this was rejected.
Later, Jordan filed lawsuits against the adjudication of the trademark authority but lost.
Chinese courts originally upheld the adjudication on the grounds that the Chinese translation “Qiaodan” is the translation of a common family name, and does not necessarily refer to the basketballer’s name only.
In 2015, Jordan appealed to the SPC. The SPC accepted the appeal on the basis of the Administrative Procedural Law.
The SPC’s ruling on Thursday said both the trademark authority’s adjudication and the previous court decisions against Jordan’s legitimate trademark claims should be revoked as well.
However, original court rulings regarding the Pinyin part were upheld by the SPC.