NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is a little bit richer after a court ruled to pay him for "emotional damages" and legal expenses. Following a multiple-year trademark lawsuit, a Chinese sportswear and shoe manufacturer called Qiaodan was ordered to pay the GOAT $46,000 (RMB300,000) over the use of Jordan's name. "Qiaodan" translates to Jordan.
According to Variety, the company must also pay $7,600 (RMB50,000) for legal expenses, bringing the total to $53,600.
The courts found the use of the name "Qiaodan" was misleading customers for decades, using his name for their company.
Based on the ruling, the company is no longer allowed to use "Qiaodan" in Chinese characters in the corporate name and product trademarks. They must also issue a public apology in print and online saying there is no relationship to Jordan.
The company has about 200 trademarks related to Jordan, with many that were filed more than five years ago. Because registered trademarks can only be disputed in China within a five-year timeline, the court was not able to order them to stop using the name completely.
The court ruled that the company must take "reasonable measures" to indicate that the older trademarks do not have any connection to the NBA legend.
While the defendant argued that "Jordan" is a common Western last name and not a reference to this Jordan specifically, the court stated that their trademarks of the number 23 and Chinese translations of his sons' names were part of a "very obvious attempt to mislead" the customers.
They said it "had the intention of causing or allowing for public confusion."
Since 2012, Jordan has filed 80 lawsuits against the firm.