China's highest court on Tuesday tried the trademark case lodged by U.S. basketball legend Michael Jordan against a Chinese sportswear firm.
Tuesday's trial featured the court investigation, debates and final statements. A verdict has not yet been made.
Jordan, who retired from the sport in 2003, said that he welcomed the decision of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) to hear his cases after years of lawsuit.
"I'm pleased that the Supreme People's Court in China decided to hear my cases against Qiaodan Sports on World Intellectual Property Day. These cases are very important to me – they are about bringing an end to Qiaodan Sports' misuse of my name, identity and likeness, which continues to confuse Chinese consumers," the former NBA superstar said in a statement.
"I believe my Chinese fans and all Chinese consumers deserve to know what they are buying, and that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me. I respect the Chinese legal system, and I look forward to the court's ruling."
Michael Jordan is arguably the most famous foreign basketball star in China and is known in the county as "Qiaodan", the Chinese translation for his surname.
In 2012, Jordan accused Qiaodan Sports Co., 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 trademark of Qiaodan Sports Co, but his request was rejected.
Later, Jordan filed two lawsuits against the adjudication of the trademark authority but lost the case in both trials.
In 2015, Jordan appealed to the Supreme People's Court (SPC) for a retrial. The SPC accepted the appeal on the basis of the Administrative Procedural Law.
Qiaodan's lawyer reiterated that the word "Qiaodan" is simply the translation of the common surname "Jordan", instead of the full name of the former NBA player.