Michael Jordan has won a moral victory with after the Chinese Supreme Court awarded him $46,000 on a copyright suit with Qiaodan.
The basketball GOAT is still the most recognizable face in his sport, more than 17 years after retirement. His image bolsters practically whatever he associates with.
Jordan filed a series of copyright infringement lawsuits against the company Qiaodan in the year 2012. His cases were tossed out of lower courts in the first couple of years. But the persistence of his legal team ensured that he won his first suit for the use of his name in Chinese.
From that point on, the legal tide has turned in his favor, but not in a financially consequential or rewarding fashion.
Michael Jordan awarded $46,000 by apex Chinese court from Qiaodan
A Shanghai court ruled Wednesday that Qiaodan has used his name as its brand for decades without authorization to mislead consumers. But it didn’t revoke the company’s right to use the phonetic English spelling of Jordan’s name in Chinese translation.
Qiaodan must stop using these Chinese characters in its corporate name and product trademarks. They have been directed to issue a public apology in print and online clarifying that it has no connection to the basketballer himself. It must also take “reasonable measures” to clarify that its older trademarks have no actual ties to the NBA star.
Michael Jordan continues to win lawsuits against Qiaodan in China. https://t.co/3ztZZoaQ3Q
— Lee Curtis (@BrandsAndStuff) December 31, 2020
The verdict, however, indirectly conveys the limits of Chinese copyright laws. The country’s trademark law stipulates that there is a five-year window in which registered trademarks may be disputed. Many of Qiaodan’s Jordan-related trademarks are more than five years old, meaning that they are technically now irrevocable.