Michael Jordan Lawsuit: Chinese Company Used Jordan Name Without Permission

Michael Jordan has a filed a lawsuit in a Chinese court for what he says is the unauthorized use of his name.

The Qiaodan Sports Company Ltd is being sued by Jordan for using his name, according to The AP. Qiaodan Sports Co. is a Chinese sportswear and footwear manufacturer.

Jordan explained the lawsuit in a video message, according to Fox News.

"A Chinese sports company has chosen to build a Chinese business off of my Chinese name without my permission," Jordan explained. "It pains me to see someone misrepresent my identity. I have no other choice but to turn to the courts."

The company registered and uses the name "Qiaodan," which is the moniker Jordan has been known by in China since the 80s, according to AP. In a statement through a spokesperson, Jordan calls the issue, "deeply disappointing."

"It is deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the number 23 and even attempt to use the names of my children," Jordan said.

Jordan says that he has worked hard to establish his name and insists the complaint is not about money.

"This complaint is not about money, it's about principle and protecting my name," Jordan said. "Any monetary awards I might receive will be invested in growing the sport of basketball in China."

According to the lawsuit, Qiaodan's use of Jordan's name and its marketing campaign has fooled Chinese consumers. It says that a Shanghai sports product marketing company conducted a survey in 2009 that involved hundreds of participants.

The survey found that 90 percent of young people in China's smallest cities believed Qiaodan Sports was Jordan's brand in China.

The Jordan brand is a Nike subsidiary that started making Air Jordan sneakers and 1985 and releases new sneakers annually. The Jordan brand topped $1 billion in revenue in 2009, according to NBC News. Jordan is currently owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and even though he has been retired for almost a decade, his Air Jordan sneakers are in heavy demand.