Judge Issues Ruling in Michael Jordan Legal Dispute with Jewel-Osco

Victory for supermarket chain, but final ruling still to come

By Al Romero
|  Thursday, Feb 16, 2012  |  Updated 8:50 AM CDT
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Judge Sides with Grocer on Michael Jordan Ad

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Victory could be "just around the corner" for Jewel-Osco in a legal dispute with Michael Jordan, but the final buzzer hasn't sounded yet.

A federal judge ruled in the supermarket chain's favor over an ad it placed in Sports Illustrated three years ago when Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The ad showed a Jewel-Osco logo and a picture of basketball shoes with Jordan's iconic number 23 on them. The print said, "Jewel-Osco salutes #23 on his many accomplishments as we honor a fellow Chicagoan who was 'just around the corner' for so many years" -- which is a play on Jewel's slogan.

Lawyers for the basketball legend argue the ad used Jordan to promote the supermarket chain. But the judge ruled it was non-commercial speech.

Even so, the judge won't issue a final decision until after both parties hand in more information next month.

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