Michael Jordan Files Case Against A Chinese Sports Company

April 15, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. file (v.) [fahyl]  –  to submit a document to an authority for approval, investigation or any other relevant action
Example: I filed my visa application to the embassy.  

2. entitle (v.) [en-tahyt-l] –  to give a right or claim to something
Example: Citizens are entitled to government protection.  

3. trademark (n.) [treyd-mahrk] –an official name or symbol used to identify a product and is legally exclusive to the use of the owner
Example: After registration, all trademarks and brands shall be properties of their owners.

4. confront (v.) [kuhn-fruhnt to face someone or something in opposition
Example: The angry customer confronted the store manager.

5. dispute (n.) [dih-spyoot-  a disagreement  
Example: The store manager settled the dispute between him and the customer immediately.

Read the text below.

Former NBA star Michael Jordan has filed a lawsuit against Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear company, for illegally using his Chinese name for profit.

Located in Fujian province, Qiaodan manufactures products such as sneakers and other sports clothing. The company is said to be using Jordan’s Chinese name “Quiaodan” and jersey number for its business without his permission.

In a statement, the basketball legend said he is disappointed that a company is making money out of his name and his jersey number, 23. Jordan said the company has even tried to use his children’s names.

He added that he filed the complaint not because he wants money, but because he wants to protect his name.

In defense, Qiaodan’s management said that the company is entitled to the use of “Qiaodan”, since it registered this trademark under Chinese law.

Qiaodan has gained success over the years. In 2010, it became the official partner of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Countries such as Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have also partnered with Qiaodan in the Olympics.

Meanwhile, NBA star Jeremy Lin, who recently achieved worldwide fame, may possibly confront a similar legal dispute in the future. A woman from Jiangsu Province in China has already registered Lin’s name in Chinese characters as a trademark.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         If you were Jordan, would you take on the same action against the company? Why or why not?
·         What are some ways businesses can protect their ideas and properties?

Discussion B

·         How does trademark help businesses?
·         Does trademark prevent healthy business competition? Why or why not?


April 15, 2012