Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

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Michael Jordan Sues Chicago Grocers False Endorsement

In two separate complaints filed December 21, 2009 in Illinois' Cook County Circuit Court, Michael Jordan, via his licensing company, alleges two Chicago area grocers violated his right of publicity, engaged in false endorsement, false designation of origin, deceptive business practices, and unfair competition.  The complaint against Dominick's Finer Foods is here and the complaint against Jewel Food Stores is here. The ads were independently created by grocers Jewel Foods and Dominick's Finer Foods and both were in "celebration" of Jordan's accomplishments in a 2009 Sports Illustrated issue commemorating Jordan.   The problem really arises from the fact that coupons to be used at the stores are located on a portion of the ad.  Jordan says he never granted permission for either advertisement, and Dominick‚Äôs steaks is a conflict of interest to the steak he endorses.

Jordan has a registered trademark for MICHAEL JORDAN in connection with product endorsements and a registered trademark for 23 (his basketball jersey number)  in connection with restaurant, bar, and catering services.

Jordan is seeking $5 million in damages from each defendant.