Michael Jordan Trademarks

Michael Jordan, also known as “MJ”, is a 59-year-old American businessman and retired professional basketball player. He played over a dozen seasons for the NBA, winning six NBA championships for the Chicago Bulls. Jordan is the majority owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA and 23XI Racing in Nascar. The NBA calls him “the greatest basketball player of all time.” He became a global cultural icon throughout the 1980s and 1990s and popularized the NBA in the worldwide consciousness.

Jordan highlighted his athletic career for the first time by playing basketball, baseball, and football at high school in Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington. He was famously deemed too short to play for the basketball varsity team. Jordan later became the star of Laney’s junior varsity team, and, after growing four inches and training extensively, he earned a spot on the varsity roster. Numerous college basketball programs recruited Jordan, but he accepted a spot in North Carolina, where he majored in cultural geography.

Jordan began playing college basketball for three seasons with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as a third draft pick and quickly emerged as a rising star, with prolific scoring and a reputation for excellent defense ability. He had impressive leaping power, earning him nicknames such as “His Airness” and “Air Jordan.” Jordan won his first NBA title in 1991 and followed that achievement with more wins in 1992 and 1993, securing a three-peat. Jordan suddenly retired in 1994 to play Minor League Baseball, returning to the Bulls for the 1995 season. He led them to several more championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998 and a record 72 regular seasons won in 1996.

Jordan has impressive individual accolades and accomplishments, including NBA’s MVP awards (six times), NBA scoring titles (ten times), Five NBA MVP awards, ten NBA first team designations, Nine All-Defensive team honors, NBA Defensive player of the year, and more. He holds the NBA record for career regular season scoring and career playoff average. He retired in 1999 for the second time before returning for two more seasons (2001-2003) with the Washington Wizards.

In 1999 he was named the 20th greatest athlete by ESPN and was second to Babe Ruth as athlete of the century on the Associated Press’s list.

Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and 2010. He became a member of the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jordan is one of the most famous athletes of his generation. He is known for high-value endorsements and marketing deals, including Nike Air Jordan Sneakers (released in 1984 but retaining their popularity) and roles in movies and media, such as Space Jam (1996) and The Last Dance (2020).

He became Co-owner and Head of Basketball Operations for the Hornets in 2006, buying a majority share in 2010. In 2016 he became the first billionaire player in NBA history.

Famous Michael Jordan trademarks

Michael Jordan has enjoyed a unique career as an NBA player and team owner; he’s one of the richest NBA players and was the first billionaire in the NBA. Many logos associated with Jordan, such as the Jumpman logo, is actually owned by Nike. Nike has been involved in several trademark battles lately, as a Chinese company, Qiaodan Sports, has been attempting to infringe on their trademark rights, following a legal battle over the disputed trademark. Nike won compensation, highlighting the importance of trademark applications. But there is plenty of intellectual property owned by Michael Jordan, too. Let’s take a look at some of the trademarks owned and registered by Jump 23 Management Incorporated.

Michael Jordan

One of the first things on this list is Michael Jordan’s name; he trademarked his own name in 1987 following its first commercial use in 1984. It’s been trademarked for use in:

  • Promoting goods and services through product endorsements
  • Conducting sports clinics and camps
  • Staging acting performances
  • Educational services, specifically relating to lectures
  • Counseling services related to abuse of alcohol and controlled substances
  • Career and counseling services
  • Restaurant services

Related: Trademarking your own name

Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

In 1993, Jordan opened his flagship restaurant in Chicago, and he’s since grown his brand to a national level. In 1998 the first Steak House was launched, delivering an excellent service alongside a famous name. The primary location is in New York City, but there are locations in Chicago, Washington, and other cities. The wordmark was first registered in 1997 for use in:

  • Mugs, including beer and beverage mugs
  • Restaurant, bar, and catering services
  • Restaurant and catering services


Michael Jordan always played under the number 23, so it has featured prominently in his branding, even after his retirement. The number was trademarked in 2002 for use in:

  • Metal keychains and rings
  • Decals and stickers
  • General purpose plastic bags
  • Note paper
  • Shot glasses and beverage glassware
  • Hats, sweaters, jerseys, shirts, and other clothing
  • Bar, restaurant, and catering services

More: Can you trademark a number?


MJ23 is a nod to Michael’s initials and his NBA jersey number. MJ23 is still used in some of his brandings. It was trademarked in 2020 for use in:

  • Restaurant and bar services

Michael Jordan 23 Sportcafe logo

This mark consists of Michael Jordan’s signature against a blue background above a white number 23. A small black box is shown in the lower corner with the word “Sportcafe.” It was registered in 2001 for use in:

  • Restaurant, bar, and catering services

Michael Jordan’s Steak House logo

This logo consists of the name “Michael Jordan” in red against a black rectangle background with a white border. The words “Steak House” can be seen in white below Michael Jordan. Following its first use in 2006, it was registered for use in 2019 in:

  • T-shirts, sweatshirts, chef clothing, protective clothing, pants, hats, and jackets

MJ Michael Jordan’s Restaurant

Michael Jordan’s Chicago-based restaurant was his first foray into the catering industry. Following the success, he expanded into several other catering ventures. The current logo was registered in 2017 and consists of the words “Michael Jordan’s Restaurant” beneath a stylized “MJ” design. It’s registered for use in:

  • Restaurant, bar, and catering services

Wrapping up

Michael Jordan is an NBA superstar with a unique reputation. As of 2022, Jordan is reportedly worth more than 2 billion dollars. MJ was one of the most marketed athletes, with dozens of product endorsements and even a movie under his belt. His most popular partnership is with Nike for his Air Jordan shoes. The sneakers became famous in 1984 and remain popular; Jordan is one of the richest African-Americans today.

Despite this great background and many related trademarks (owned by other companies such as Nike), Jordan’s personal portfolio is pretty small. He owns the name rights, having submitted a trademark registration for that decade ago.

Under trademark law, you can register your unique branding to keep it safe from any competitors. Michael Jordan owns around a dozen trademarks, but he may register more in the future. He has several philanthropic projects that he’s failed to register so far; it’s also worth considering registering his nicknames, such as “His Airness.” Jordan has an array of unique branding that he can protect with trademark filings if he chooses to.

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author:

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded this trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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