Air Jordan – Air Pongman: Table Tennis in the News
(by Steve Hopkins)
The Jordan brand has been involved in a series of trademark suits in China – most involving either the Jordan name or Jordan likeness being used without permission. In 2016, Jordan won an appeal to China’s Supreme Court which ruled that Qiaodan Sports could no longer build a brand around the number 23 and a Chinese character version of Michael Jordan’s name.
Testimony is ongoing this week in a similar case. Chris Derps, a China-based journalist who provides English versions of Chinese and Hong Kong news stories and current events, posted a graphic illustrating the legal argument being made by the Chinese firm. Apparently, their logo is not intended to mimic the iconic photo of a 1990 Michael Jordan finger role and instead they are claiming that it is a Chinese table tennis player preparing a forehand stroke.
Not to diminish the eloquence, beauty, and athleticism of our sport, but an airborne Michael Jordan in his prime was a nightly highlight reel. You can examine the logo and the photo and judge for yourself. The case has not yet been decided.
Still, it’s nice to see table tennis in the news. Where can I buy some Air Pongman shoes?