Michael Jordon sued a grocery chain for publishing a magazine ad using his jersey number "23" on a pair of basketball shoes. He claims that the ad by grocer Jewel-Osco misappropriated his identity, and he sued for $5m in damages.
The lawsuit alleged that Jewel had violated the federal Lanham Act and state laws dealing with publicity rights. These laws that the case focuses on are those which give famous people control over the marketing of their identity, as well as preventing others from exploting their celebrity status without permission.
The main decision for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with the distinction between commercial and non-commercial speech, the former of which is less protected by the First Amendment. The Seventh Court decided that the magazine ad was considered commercial speech. The case will be sent back to the district court where, in 2012, it was deemed non-commercial speech.