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Shanghai court hears Michael Jordan suit

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-28 00:31

SHANGHAI - A Shanghai court on Saturday starting hearing a lawsuit filed by Michael Jordan against a Chinese sportswear maker and another company over the unauthorized use of his name.

The famed NBA player filed the suit with the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court against Qiaodan Sports Co Ltd and Shanghai Bairen Trading Co Ltd, a distributer for Qiaodan Sports.

"Qiaodan" is the Chinese translation for "Jordan" and has been used by the Fujian-based company since it registered the name in 2000.

Jordan accused the two firms of using his name and reputation to carry out business without his permission, as well as misleading Chinese consumers regarding his ties to the brand.

Jordan has asked for the defendants to stop using his name, as well as demanded 1.14 million yuan ($183,000) in compensation, his lawyers said in court.

The defendants argued that the word "Qiaodan" is simply a translation of the common surname "Jordan," instead of the full name of the former NBA player. The real intention of using the Chinese name "Qiaodan" is to mean "grass and trees in the south," said lawyers for the Qiaodan Sports.

Jordan filed the lawsuit in 2012, saying in a statement that he was upset that the company had used his Chinese name, as well as his former jersey number "23," without authorization.

Qiaodan Sports has countersued Jordan for damaging its reputation, asking for $8 million in compensation. The Quanzhou Court of Fujian Province accepted the countersuit on April 2.

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