China’s highest court has ruled in favor of former basketball star Michael Jordan in a long-running trademark case relating to a local sportswear firm using the Chinese version of his name, overturning earlier rulings against the athlete.
The ruling is a rare bit of good news for a foreign brand in China, where companies, including iPhone maker Apple and shoe brand New Balance, have often come out on the losing side in trademark disputes.
The former Chicago Bulls player sued Qiaodan Sports in 2012, saying the company in southern Fujian province had built its business around his Chinese name and famous jersey number “23” without his permission.
In 2015 a court ruled in favor of Qiaodan Sports over the trademark dispute, a ruling that was then upheld by the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court. After that ruling Jordan’s legal team said they would take the case to China’s top court.