FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, former NBA star and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, smiles at reporters in Chicago. President Barack Obama is honoring Jordan, Cicely Tyson, Tom Hanks, and others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, former NBA star and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, smiles at reporters in Chicago. President Barack Obama is honoring Jordan, Cicely Tyson, Tom Hanks, and others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File) (Charles Rex Arbogast)

China’s top court said on Thursday that former National Basketball Association star Michael Jordan owns the trademark rights to his name in Chinese characters.

The Supreme People’s Court ruled that Chinese manufacturer Qiaodan Sportswear Co.’s registered trademark in Chinese characters violated Jordan’s prior rights and should be revoked. The court overturned three previous decisions issued by lower courts and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce’s Trademark Appraisal Committee in favor of Qiaodan Sportswear.

The former Chicago Bulls player had asked Chinese officials back in 2012 to revoke the Qiaodan’s trademarks, which featured a similar name and logo to Jordan’s Nike Inc.-produced brand. He said the company was intentionally misleading consumers about its ties to him by using the name along with a silhouette of a leaping basketball player resembling a logo that Nike uses to promote its Air Jordan brand.

The five-judge bench led by Supreme Court vice president Tao Kaiyuan sided with Jordan on the uniqueness of his transliterated name in Chinese characters and recognized its popularity among Chinese consumers. The court agreed that by registering a trademark that’s widely perceived to be the Chinese name of Jordan, Qiaodan Sportswear was intentionally free riding on the American basketball player’s reputation to sell products.

Jordan was pleased with the decision. “Chinese consumers deserve to know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me,” he said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today’s decision shows the importance of that principle.”

But the decision also dismissed Jordan’s claim of rights to “qiaodan,” the romanization of the characters, citing insufficient evidence of its association with the English name Jordan.

The decision follows a hearing before the Supreme Court in April of this year when Jordan was represented by partners Qi Fang and Tian Tian of Fangda Partners.

The case started in 2012 when Jordan first petitioned the Trademark Appraisal Committee to revoke Qiaodan Sportswear’s marks. Jordan sued the trademark office at a Beijing court after it decided to uphold the marks; he then appealed to the Beijing Higher People’s Court after the lower court sided with the trademark office and lost again. Jordan then appealed to the Supreme Court that agreed to hear the case in December of last year.

While the dust settles on the trademark case, dispute over Jordan’s name in China is not over. Currently, a separate case over Jordan’s naming rights has been pending at a Shanghai court since a 2013 hearing. Jordan, represented by JunHe partner Kang Yi on that case, sued Qiaodan Sportswear for infringing naming rights and demanded 50 million yuan, or $7.3 million, in damages.

In the statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, Jordan said that he looks forward to the ruling of the Shanghai court.

China’s top court said on Thursday that former National Basketball Association star Michael Jordan owns the trademark rights to his name in Chinese characters.

The Supreme People’s Court ruled that Chinese manufacturer Qiaodan Sportswear Co.’s registered trademark in Chinese characters violated Jordan’s prior rights and should be revoked. The court overturned three previous decisions issued by lower courts and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce’s Trademark Appraisal Committee in favor of Qiaodan Sportswear.

The former Chicago Bulls player had asked Chinese officials back in 2012 to revoke the Qiaodan’s trademarks, which featured a similar name and logo to Jordan’s Nike Inc.-produced brand. He said the company was intentionally misleading consumers about its ties to him by using the name along with a silhouette of a leaping basketball player resembling a logo that Nike uses to promote its Air Jordan brand.

The five-judge bench led by Supreme Court vice president Tao Kaiyuan sided with Jordan on the uniqueness of his transliterated name in Chinese characters and recognized its popularity among Chinese consumers. The court agreed that by registering a trademark that’s widely perceived to be the Chinese name of Jordan, Qiaodan Sportswear was intentionally free riding on the American basketball player’s reputation to sell products.

Jordan was pleased with the decision. “Chinese consumers deserve to know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me,” he said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today’s decision shows the importance of that principle.”

But the decision also dismissed Jordan’s claim of rights to “qiaodan,” the romanization of the characters, citing insufficient evidence of its association with the English name Jordan.

The decision follows a hearing before the Supreme Court in April of this year when Jordan was represented by partners Qi Fang and Tian Tian of Fangda Partners .

The case started in 2012 when Jordan first petitioned the Trademark Appraisal Committee to revoke Qiaodan Sportswear’s marks. Jordan sued the trademark office at a Beijing court after it decided to uphold the marks; he then appealed to the Beijing Higher People’s Court after the lower court sided with the trademark office and lost again. Jordan then appealed to the Supreme Court that agreed to hear the case in December of last year.

While the dust settles on the trademark case, dispute over Jordan’s name in China is not over. Currently, a separate case over Jordan’s naming rights has been pending at a Shanghai court since a 2013 hearing. Jordan, represented by JunHe partner Kang Yi on that case, sued Qiaodan Sportswear for infringing naming rights and demanded 50 million yuan, or $7.3 million, in damages.

In the statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, Jordan said that he looks forward to the ruling of the Shanghai court.