Michael Jordan Loses Case Against Chinese Knock-Off Brand Qioadan

Michael Jordan Loses Case Against Chinese Knock-Off Brand Qioadan

Michael Jordan has been embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese brand Qioadan Sports, a company that sells knock-off versions of Nike’s Air Jordan line, including a bootleg version of the infamous No. 23 jersey without consent for which Jordan sued the company in 2013 for $183,000 for trademark infringement. Interesting enough, Jordan reportedly planned on donating the money to the growth of the sport of basketball in China. Courts have since ruled in favor of Qiaodan, which by the way, is the Mandarin transliteration of ‘Jordan’.

According to Yahoo! News, the courts claimed:

“‘Jordan’ is a common surname used by Americans. The logo was in the shape of a person with no facial features, so it was ‘hard’ for consumers to identify it as Jordan. There was insufficient evidence to prove the trademark referred to the US star.”

According to attorney Paul Haswell, who is following the case:
via Out-Law.com

“While Jordan registered his English name in the country, he did not register Qiaodan.”

Haswell went to say:

“The average consumer assumes that it’s Michael Jordan’s own sportswear brand. Many of the shoes look like Nike Air Jordans, down to the logo.”

Michael Jordan’s legal team isn’t happy with the trademark dispute ruling and has since appealed the case to China’s Supreme Court.
Qiaodan’s owners have now counter-sued Michael Jordan for $8 million citing defamation of the company’s reputation. For reference of the success of Qiaodan, via the International Business Times:

“The company has around 6,000 retail outlets in China, and brought in 1.7 billion yuan ($276 million) in revenue in 2012.”

The reason Qiaodan is even remotely winning in this battle is because of China’s poor enforcement of counterfeit laws. Yahoo! News explains:

“China has long been seen as a counterfeiters’ haven and has constantly been criticized by its trade partners over lax protection of intellectual property rights.”


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