On Dec 30, 2020, the Shanghai 2nd Intermediate People's Court issued a verdict of the first instance in the case of Michael Jordan v. Qiaodan Sports Company and Bairen Trading Company for name rights disputes. The court held that the Qiaodan Sports Company, knowing that Michael Jordan has a high reputation, still chose the word "乔丹" (corresponding to Chinese translation of "Jordan" and pronounced as "Qiaodan") for trademark registration without authorization, and registered the company name "乔丹" (Qiaodan). Accordingly, the court ruled that Qiaodan Sports Company publicly apologized to the plaintiff in newspapers and on the internet, and should compensate the plaintiff for mental damage of RMB300,000 (USD46,000), and the plaintiff's reasonable expenses incurred in this lawsuit of RMB50,000 (USD7,700).

In addition, as the trademark "乔丹" has been registered over 5 years ago and hence cannot be cancelled according to China trademark law, Qiaodan Sports Company should take measures, such as using distinctive signs, to separe the link potentially perceived by the public between Michael Jordan and Qiaodan Sports.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.