Michael Jordan to Bring his Case to China’s Supreme Court

July 14, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. merchandise / ˈmɜr tʃənˌdaɪz / (n.) – products that are purchased and sold
Example: NBA merchandise can be very expensive.

2. compensation / ˌkɒm pənˈseɪ ʃən / (n.) – anything given to make up for a particular damage
Example: He bought lunch for the team as compensation for missing the training.

3. appeal / əˈpil / (v.) – to formally request a higher authority to change or review its decision
Example The coach appealed to the manager in hopes of getting back his job.

4. exclusively / ɪkˈsklu sɪvli / (adv.) – belonging to only one person or a particular group of people
Example: The shoes were exclusively made for basketball players.

5. lawsuit / ˈlɔˌsut / (n.) – a case filed in a court that involves two parties in disagreement
Example: The athlete filed a lawsuit against his coach.


Read the text below.
Michael Jordan will be filing a case against Qiaodan [chee-ow dahn] Sports at China’s Supreme Court.

In 2012, Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports for using his Chinese name, “Qiaodan,” and his jersey number, 23, in its merchandise without asking for his permission and without providing him with compensation. However, the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled against Jordan, thus giving Qiaodan Sports the right to use Jordan’s name and number. Hoping to get a retrial, Jordan’s legal team will go to China’s Supreme Court to appeal the case to the Supreme People’s Court.

According to an article featured in online news site Quartz, one of Qiaodan’s arguments against Jordan’s party is that Michael Jordan does not exclusively own the name “Qiaodan.” This is because there are about 4,600 Chinese citizens who have the same name. Qiaodan’s second argument focused on how “Qiaodan” is not the real surname of Michael Jordan. Another argument emphasized that Michael Jordan has no right to file the case in China, since he is not a Chinese citizen in the first place.

This is not the first time that Jordan filed a lawsuit against a company for using his trademarks without permission. Last year, Jordan won a case against the supermarket Jewel Food Stores Inc. The supermarket inappropriately used the retired athlete’s trademark number in its ad back in 2009.

Despite these trademark issues, Jordan continues to sell the most basketball shoes as compared with other players. In fact, one of his deals with Nike and the Jordan Brand subsidiary amounted to as much as $100 million. Forbes also reported that Jordan’s total assets amount to US $1 billion.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Michael Jordan has a chance to win the case? Why or why not?
·         How do you think this issue will affect Qiaodan Sports’s sales?

Discussion B

·         What can companies learn from this incident?
·         What would you do if you were in Michael Jordan’s shoes?

July 14, 2015