NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has gone through many legal battles over the years concerning his brand and likeness. The former Chicago Bulls great has come out on top in many of these instances through the court system. With that in mind, Jordan recently earned another notable financial win in a lingering lawsuit.
Michael Jordan’s long legal fight over his brand
Over the years, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan hasn’t been a stranger to lawsuits.
Jordan has had much difficulty moving entirely past a lawsuit against Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese company that translates in English to the name “Jordan.” Qiaodan first came about in 1997 with the intent of selling sportswear to Chinese consumers.
There hadn’t been any link toward Jordan, but the situation changed over the years as the company filed for trademark applications in China that included an animated basketball player silhouette that looked quite similar to Jordan’s iconic Jumpman logo that donned the No. 23 jersey.
It didn’t take long for Jordan and Nike to catch on once they expanded into China, where matters became an issue after they attempted to trademark “Jordan.” Since then, there have been over 80 lawsuits and countersuits between the two companies.
Qiaodan had the benefit of being the first to file for that trademark in China as they continued to grow. It saw them expand to more than 6,000 locations in the country.
Last year, the 57-year-old earned a legal victory with the highest court in China, ruling that the intellectual property right were promoted to the former Bulls great and Nike. Things took another encouraging turn for Jordan that put some more money in his pocket.
Michael Jordan scores $53,000 from legal win
For nearly the last decade, Michael Jordan has dealt with a lingering lawsuit involving his brand.
Jordan has remained on the steady course of getting the legal upper hand over the Qiaodan Sports Company. According to Variety, the former Bulls great was awarded $46,000 for “emotional damages” and $7,600 for legal expenses tallied up throughout the case.
Although it’s virtually pocket change for Jordan, who has a reported net worth of $1.6 billion, it’s still another legal win. He has had to deal with this situation for several years, and the minor financial victory is another step toward getting the case closer to an end.
The latest ruling includes the Chinese company ceasing from utilizing characters of “Qiaodan” in its name and product trademarks. They also must put out a public apology in print and online, stating that they have no ties to Jordan. That decision came about due to the court not having the ability to force the company to stop using the Hall of Famer’s name altogether.
The Chinese company has many of their products related to trademarks that are older than five years, which is longer than the five-year window that China has on trademark stipulations. In other words, it’s the best result that Jordan could have hoped for in this matter.
Setting the bar for legal protection
Michael Jordan’s continued fight through the legal system is much more than protecting his own brand.
Jordan is still arguably the most popular professional athlete across the globe despite stepping into retirement almost two decades ago.
It’s another shining example for other professional athletes to follow in similar situations. Jordan’s situation isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last time that something like this arises in the legal realm.