BEIJING, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Supreme People's Court (SPC) Thursday issued a ruling that favored part of the claims lodged by U.S. basketball icon Michael Jordan against a Chinese firm and the trademark authority.
The court ruled that the trademark in dispute, "Qiaodan," the Chinese translation for Jordan, violated Jordan's right to his name and broke provisions in the Trademark Law.
Registration of the "Qiaodan" trademark will also be revoked.
The court also ruled that Jordan has no exclusive rights to the use of the alphabetic spelling of "Qiaodan," which is the pinyin (phonetic spelling) of the Chinese characters, and rejected his claims in this regard.
The SPC in April started an open retrial of the trademark dispute cases filed by Jordan.
In 2012, Michael Jordan accused Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear and shoe manufacturer, of unauthorized use of his name and identity.
Jordan lodged an appeal to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce to revoke the trademarks in dispute, but this was rejected.
Later, Jordan filed lawsuits against the adjudication of the trademark authority but lost.
Chinese courts originally upheld the adjudication on the grounds that the Chinese translation "Qiaodan" is the translation of a common family name, and does not necessarily refer to the basketballer's name only.
In 2015, Jordan appealed to the SPC. The SPC accepted the appeal on the basis of the Administrative Procedural Law.
The SPC's ruling Thursday said both the trademark authority's adjudication and the previous court decisions against Jordan's legitimate trademark claims should also be revoked.
However, original court rulings regarding the pinyin part were upheld by the SPC.
Tao Kaiyuan, the chief justice of the trial at SPC, said the SPC believes that there is sufficient evidence to prove that "Qiaodan" as the Chinese translation for Jordan is famous in China and is familiar to the Chinese public.
Also, the Chinese characters "Qiaodan" are often used by Chinese public when referring to the former American basketball player, and there is already a "stable" link between the name and the specific individual, facts that entitle Jordan to protection under the Trademark Law.
Journalists from both domestic and overseas news organizations, representatives of the parties involved and members of the public were present at the announcement of the court ruling on Thursday.
The full text of the ruling will be published online.