Sports icon Michael Jordan is taking his competitive edge to the courtroom as he prepares to take a trademark dispute to China’s Supreme court. Jordan is accusing Qiaodan Sports of illegally using his larger than life brand.
Jordan sued the Chinese Sports firm in 2012 alleging that it had built its brand around Jordan’s Chinese name and his famous jersey number “23” without a mutual agreement.
At the top of 2015, a court ruled in favor of Qiaodan, and this ruling was recently upheld by the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court.
Jordan will now take the case to China’s top court, a spokesman for Jordan’s legal team said in an emailed statement: “In light of the trademark dispute ruling, we intend to appeal to the Supreme People’s Court for retrial,” the statement said, adding that a separate case with Qiaodan Sports over naming rights was still ongoing.
Jordan’s case is one of several involving foreign firms facing trademark tangles in China. Apple, Inc. paid $60 million in 2012 to settle a case over its iPad trademark, while state media reported last month that an affiliate of U.S. shoemaker New Balance had lost a trademark case against a local firm.
Jordan, who has a net worth of $1 billion according to Forbes, is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team and has a lucrative endorsement contract with Nike Inc., which makes Air Jordan shoes.