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Michael Jordan Sues Dominick's, Jewel

By Kevin Robinson in News on Dec 22, 2009 3:40PM

Photo by wallyg.
Michael Jordan, the Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who led the Chicago Bulls to six championships, has filed suit against Dominick's and Jewel, claiming "violation of the right of publicity, false endorsement, false designation of origin, deceptive business practices, and unfair competition." Both grocery chains ran full page ads in a special commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated dedicated to his life and his career.

The Dominick's ad features Jordan's name and the number 23, which he wore with the Bulls, along with the phrase "you are a cut above" over the image of a steak and a coupon good for $2 off Rancher's Reserve steak, which is Dominick's beef brand. The Jewel ad shows a pair of basketball sneakers with the number 23 on the tongue and the slogan “Jewel-Osco salutes #23 on his many accomplishments as we honor a fellow Chicagoan who was ‘just around the corner’ for so many years." "Just around the corner" is a marketing term used by Jewel.

According to the suit, which was filed in Cook County court, the basketball shoes “appear to be an inaccurate and misleading copy of Air Jordan basketball shoes, which are the subject of an endorsement agreement between Jordan and Nike, Inc." In the suit, Jordan contends that “Jewel-Osco never received Jordan’s permission to use his identity or to imply his endorsement in connection with the goods and services offered by Jewel Osco.”