US basketball star Michael Jordan is demanding 50 million yuan ($7.93 million) in compensation for the alleged misuse of his name by Chinese sportswear maker Qiaodan Sports Co, the Securities Times reported Friday.
"The complaint is about principle, not money… Jordan demands that the misuse of his name be stopped immediately and for Chinese consumers to be notified that Jordan is not linked with this company," the report cited a spokesperson for Jordan as saying.
Hou Lidong, spokesperson for Qiaodan Sports, told the Global Times on Friday that the case is still under trial and that Jordan's demands had not been fully clarified yet.
The basketball star filed a lawsuit against the Fujian-based company in February, accusing the firm of using his name in its trademark. A Shanghai court accepted the case last month.
Qiaodan Sports said in February that it has been using the Qiaodan trademark since 2000, and that it is protected by Chinese law.
"The use of Jordan's Chinese name Qiaodan has the tendency of misleading consumers to think the basketball player has something to do with the company, which means that Qiaodan Sports may have infringed on Jordan's rights," said Liu Jiahui, a lawyer specializing in trademark disputes with the Beijing-based Derun Law Firm.
Liu further noted that Jordan should provide evidence that he has suffered losses worth 50 million yuan if he demands compensation, or prove that Qiaodan Sports has gained this sum in profits through the use of his name.
In the first half of 2011, Qiaodan Sports reported a net profit of 280 million yuan, and the company is now planning an IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Wang Jia, an analyst with consulting firm China Venture, said that it will not face any obstacles to its IPO if the trademark Qiaodan is deemed to be protected by Chinese law.