The lawsuit filed by the US basketball star, Yao Ming, against the Coca-Cola Company is to go to trial later this month after out-of-court negotiations foundered, Agence France Presse has reported.

Yao's attorney, Wang Xiaopeng, told AFP that a settlement plan had been presented in August by Coca-Cola in which it had apologised for what had happened but had refused to admit any wrongdoing. Wang added that Coca-Cola's settlement plan had not met Yao's demands.

Yao, who plays for US NBA team the Houston Rockets, accused Coca-Cola in May of using his image without permission and demanded that his image be removed from their products. He also demanded an apology and token damages of 12 cents.

Coke maintained it had the right to use the image as part of a sponsorship deal which it had signed with the Chinese national team. Yao himself had signed a personal sponsorship deal with PepsiCo.