Sports Law Blog
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Friday, February 03, 2006
Reciprocal Bootlegging???

Damon Jones, back up point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, signed a sneaker deal with China's largest sportswear manufacturer. The shoes will only be available for purchase in China.

First, let me say that Damon Jones obviously has the best agent in all of sports. Jones is a marginal player who made a ton of three pointers last night strictly because he was playing on the perimeter while Shaquille O'neal drew Jones' defender inside and the rotation concentrated on Dwyane Wade. His agent parlayed that performance into several summer appearances on TV, a new longterm contract with the Cavaliers, and now the first American player to have a Chinese shoe contract. Wow!!! If I ever go back on the law teaching market, I want that guy to negotiate for me.

Second, I wonder if American merchants who've been lobbying Congress to do more to stop Chinese counterfeiting of American goods will ask Congress for an exemption from our own counterfeiting law so they can sell cheap versions of Jones' sneaker on New York's Canal St? After Jones' performance the first half of this season, I'm not sure a dealer could even get a bootleg price for them.

"Bobo's, they cost a $1.99...."

Andre Smith


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