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Michael Jordan Also Used by Several Chinese Companies, Apparently

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Yesterday, we reported on Knicks' point guard and everyone’s favorite headline/pun generator Jeremy Lin’s trademark fight with several people in the US and, potentially, one woman in China over the use of his name and the word “Linsanity.” In spite of his recent addition to the All Star weekend roster and pending Nike (NKE) shoe, Lin does not currently own the rights to his own name in China.   

Michael Jordan, however, does own the rights to his name. And he’s taken Qiaodan Sports Co. to court to prove it.

His Airness has filed suit in China over the company’s use of Qiaodan, the Chinese spelling of Jordan -- it’s pronounced “cheow-DAN” in Mandarin, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company claims to have full rights to the name and to have acted in accordance with Chinese law.

On his end, Jordan has stated that he “feels the need to protect his name, his identity and Chinese consumers.” He went on to say that any damages would go toward promoting basketball in China.

Well, as Shanghaiist pointed out today, there’s no reason for Jordan to stop with Qiaodan Sports, other Chinese companies use his name as well. For example, a baby clothes retailer goes by the name Qiaodan Tailang, which translates roughly to the nonsensical Jordan Taro.

With two companies already out of the woodwork, it seems entirely possible that more will turn up soon. After all, this is the country that knocked off an entire Apple (AAPL) store.

Actually, speaking of Apple, their fight with Proview over rights to the word “iPad” went further down the rabbit hole today. It’s been reported that Proview is now suing the tech giant for fraud in the US over the sale of the name.

Apple’s case in the Guangdong province has yet to be resolved, but the company did win a small victory earlier this week when a Shanghai court refused to grant Proview an injunction against iPad sales until the Guangdong case was resolved.

By the way, if you’re wondering about trademarking your own name or any variations on it, here’s an interesting story from Reuters on one reporter’s quest to do just that. You will need to have a product in mind though.
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