CHICAGO (AP) _ Michael Jordan asked a federal court Tuesday to end an agreement under which he sold two restaurateurs the use of his name for eateries in Chicago and surrounding counties.
In a federal court battle that has been waged for almost two years, attorneys for the former basketball star charged that companies run by Chicago businessmen Gene and Joe Silverberg ``have breached their promise to protect Mr. Jordan’s name and the good will associated with it.″
``They have orchestrated a campaign to diminish the value of Mr. Jordan’s name and its good will,″ they said in court papers.
Jordan signed an agreement with the Silverbergs in September 1990 allowing the use of his name for restaurants in the six-county area surrounding Chicago. They opened Michael Jordan’s restaurant just north of downtown, and it became an instant magnet for tourists.
As a result of the legal battle, however, the Silverbergs recently dropped the use of Jordan’s name and renamed the restaurant for Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa.
The lawsuit was filed initially by the Silverbergs in November 1997, seeking to block Jordan from developing a new restaurant.
The new restaurant, One Sixtyblue, is located west of downtown Chicago. It doesn’t use Jordan’s name, but he has ownership interest in it.