Qiaodan Sports sues Nike alleging trademark violations

China-based sports brand Qiaodan Sports Co has sued Nike Sports (China) Co and Nike Commercial (China) Co for "reputation infringement" and "unfair competition," Beijing Business Today reported on Monday.

Qiaodan demanded that Nike stops infringement, apologizes in public and pays compensation of 300,000 yuan ($45,879) for the alleged infringement.

According to the report, Qiaodan claimed that Nike used labels of its "highly recognized" Qiaodan series products to promote Nike's own related products and thus infringed Qiaodan's "exclusive rights to the trademarks."

Nike has argued that it didn't use the labels of Qiaodan basketball shoes on its official website, so their use cannot be considered an act of infringement and unfair competition. The case went to trial in the Intellectual Property Court of Jinjiang Court in East China's Fujian Province on March 8. A ruling is pending.

Qiaodan is a Chinese rendering of Michael Jordan, the US basketball player's name, which is similar to Nike's Air Jordan brand, a basketball shoe series produced in cooperation with the American athlete. But the products have similar names and logos (a silhouette of a leaping basketball player).

The battle between the two started years ago. Jordan himself first sued Qiaodan in 2012, arguing that its trademarks damaged the legal rights to his name. He asked the court to revoke the Chinese company's trademark.

In December 2016, China's Supreme Court said that Qiaodan must stop using the Chinese characters for Qiaodan on its products.

"The decision ensures that my Chinese fans and all Chinese consumers know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me," Jordon said in a statement after that ruling.

Qiaodan countersued him for infringement of its reputation and demanded 1.1 million yuan in compensation in July 2017. The case is still under investigation.

(Source:Global Times)