Marc Fineman, a partner in the Intellectual Property Service Group, was quoted in a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article on February 28, 2012. The article, "Jordan challenges Chinese company over name use, " mentions how Michael Jordan sued a Chinese company last week for intentionally using "Qiaodan," which is the phonetic spelling of his name in Chinese, without permission to sell its sports clothes and shoes. The company also marked its products with Jordan's No. 23 and his famous brand logo of his legs stretched out and arm extended going up for a dunk.
Local lawyers said the "blatant" stealing of Jordan's name demonstrates the gulf in intellectual property right protections between China and the U.S. Some Chinese companies see the opportunity to trademark a famous brand or name in China as a way to "make a quick buck," and might not see it as illegal.
Jordan sued under a Chinese civil law based on a personal right to protect a name, not the more typical trademark lawsuits seen in the U.S.
Marc said if the court stops Qiaodan from using Jordan's name, the case could act as an example of China starting to give IP rights more respect. "It's kind of happened in part almost organically because China's become such a significant global market and economy, " he said. "But it's also a result of pressure from a lot of other countries that do have very robust IP enforcement laws and procedures."