Because of their similar names, Chinese brand Qiaodan Sports Company and former NBA superstar Michael Jordan have, since 2012, experienced long-term trademark disputes with the final judgment for three of their lawsuits settled by China's Supreme People's Court in 2016. However, Qiaodan Sports Company have counter-sued Michael Jordan and his attorney, for the latter sending a “disreputable” letter to the Tianjin Municipal Bureau of Sports and the organizing committee of the 13th National Games.
According to the official website of the Beijing Higher People’s Court, Michael Jordan authorized a law firm to send a letter to Tianjin Sports Bureau and the organizing committee of the 13th National Games. They did not reveal the specific content of this letter, but Qiaodan's Sports representative said there were some misleading contents in the letter.
According to Chen Ruojian, the attorney for Qiaodan Sports, the letter described the “trademark dispute cases” as “trademark revoking cases”. The letter also described the judgment of the previous cases as “revoking the trademark because of damaging Jordan’s name rights”, instead of “requesting a new trial for these cases”. As a result, Qiaodan Sports thought that this letter had damaged their reputation and so have sued Michael Jordan.
The Beijing Higher People’s Court’s website revealed that Qiaodan Sports have demanded Michael Jordan and his attorney withdraw the letter and issue an apology, plus paying them 1.1 million yuan (US$162.6k) compensation in total.
This case has been accepted by the People’s Court of Beijing Chaoyang District and is currently under further trial.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick