Surpeme Court Throws Out Photographer’s “Jumpman” Lawsuit Against Nike
Back in 2015, photographer Jacobus Rentmeester took Nike to court over an image he took of Michael Jordan back in 1984. He believes that the image became an inspiration for Nike’s ad which carried a similar aesthetic. Nike’s own image appeared in numerous ads and ended up becoming what is now known as the Jumpman logo. Rentmeester believes he is entitled to compensation because in his eyes it is him that helped create the Jumpman logo. The lower courts threw the case out but Rentmeester tried again with the Supreme Court. Once again, the courts ruled in favor of Nike, which puts an end to the lawsuit, according to ESPN.
Rentmeester took his image for Life magazine back in 2014 and showed Jordan wearing a pair of Converse sneakers and the U.S. Olympic team uniform. At the time, Jordan was still a student at North Carolina. Nike’s image was taken after Jordan had been drafted and featured him wearing Chicago Bulls colors. You can also see the Chicago skyline in the background of Nike’s famous image.
In the Tweet above, you can see the differences between the two images. The context gives a better understanding of why the Supreme Court ultimately ruled the way it did. As explained, it appears as though a lot of it had to do with the fact that Jordan wasn’t positioned the same way in both photos.