Michael Jordan Sued by Chinese Sportswear Maker Qiaodan

Qiaodan Sports Co., a closely held Chinese sportswear company, said it sued former National Basketball Association star Michael Jordan for $8 million in damages after his lawsuit claiming unauthorized use of his name.

The Fujian-based retailer’s suit was accepted by the Quanzhou City Intermediate People’s Court in Fujian on April 2, Qiaodan said in an e-mailed statement today.

The Chinese company, which has about 6,000 shops in the country, claimed the hall-of-fame basketball player tarnished its reputation and delayed its plan for an initial public offering. Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, sued Qiaodan in February last year for using his Chinese name and jersey number 23 without permission.

Qiaodan denied the unauthorized use of Jordan’s Chinese name in today’s statement. Jordan’s lawsuit is proceeding at the Shanghai People’s Intermediate Court, according to an e-mailed statement from Brunswick Group, which is representing Jordan’s lawyer.

Jordan hasn’t received notice from relevant authorities about Qiaodan’s suit, according to the e-mail responding to Bloomberg News queries. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Qiaodan’s lawsuit.

Qiaodan won approval from the nation’s securities regulator in November 2011 for an initial public offering of 112.5 million shares.

The company’s name and its trademark are the same as the Chinese version of Jordan’s name.

Jordan, who is majority owner of NBA team the Charlotte Bobcats, heads his own division at the world’s largest sporting-goods maker Nike Inc.