Michael Jordan, Jewel-Osco reach settlement over use of name

AP News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2015 6:43 PM
Michael Jordan, Jewel-Osco reach settlement over use of name

CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Jordan and a supermarket chain have reached an agreement in a years-long lawsuit that alleged misuse of the basketball star's name in advertising, according to spokespeople for both sides.

The case involved Jewel-Osco's use of Jordan's name in a 2009 Sports Illustrated ad that congratulated the six-time NBA champion on his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The ad included a large Jewel-Osco logo under the text.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a jury in August awarded Jordan $8.9 million from the now-defunct Dominick's Finer Foods for invoking his name in a similar ad that included a coupon for food.

Attorneys disclosed settlement talks in court last month, after a judge suggested that both sides may be interested in a quick resolution given the Dominick's judgment. The Jewel-Osco case was set to go to trial in December.

Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy said the deal was reached last week. Portnoy said the former Chicago Bulls star will donate the net sum of the settlement to charity, and that details would be announced by the end of the year.

"The terms of the agreement are confidential, but we are pleased to have reached a resolution of these matters," said Brian Dowling, a spokesman for Albertsons, the parent company of Jewel-Osco.

Dominick's operated under supermarket chain Safeway, which also later merged with Albertsons. It wasn't immediately clear if the settlement would affect the Dominick's case. Jordan filed the lawsuits in Chicago in 2010.

The Dominick's trial was held in Chicago, where Jordan won six NBA titles with the Bulls. That ad, which ran in a Sports Illustrated commemorative edition, also congratulated Jordan on his Hall of Fame induction and included a coupon above a photograph of steak.

Some legal observers said the Dominick's ad was more egregious because it included the coupon, suggesting the ad's purpose was at least in part commercial.

Jordan told jurors he has the final say on anything that involves his likeness and name, and that he would protect it. Dominick's had asked that the verdict be overturned.


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