Nike Prevails in Air Jordan Logo Lawsuit

Nike Prevails in Air Jordan Logo Lawsuit

Nike Inc. prevailed in its Jordan Brand Jumpman lawsuit when a judge ruled the logo did not infringe on a photographer’s copyrights to an iconic photograph published by Life Magazine.

Jacobus Rentmeester claimed in court papers that Nike paid him $150 in 1984 for temporary use of two 35mm transparencies of the eventual Hall of Fame basketball player he shot for Life Magazine. The following year, Nike shot a photograph of Jordan in a similar pose that led to the creation of the Jordan Brand logo.

Rentmeester “failed to show that he can satisfy the requisite objective test for copyright infringement,” U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman wrote in his 14-page opinion granting Nike’s motion to dismiss the case.

In siding with Nike, Mosman writes that “the only arguably original part of Mr. Rentmeester’s selection and arrangement is that the photograph was taken outside as opposed to inside a gym.”

For background, you can read the ESPN story here.