WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday it won’t measure in to referee a copyright dispute between Nike and a photographer that took a renowned image of basketball great Michael Jordan. Meaning lower court rulings to your athletic apparel manufacturer will endure.
Photographer Jacobus Rentmeester sued Nike when it used a graphic he took of Jordan from the 1980s as inspiration to get photograph it commissioned for the own ads. The provider’s photo, that was used on billboards and posters, subsequently became the foundation for its”Jumpman” logo for Nike’s Air Jordan shoes. Rentmeester sued Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike at 2015 saying the Nike photo and logo infringed on his copyright image.
Rentmeester’s original photo of Jordan has been taken for a lifetime magazine in 1984, while Jordan was students at the University of North Carolina. It shows Jordan holding a basketball at his left hand and jump, ballet-like toward a basketball hoop. At the moment, Jordan was preparing for the upcoming Summer Olympics, which were held at la. From the photo, Jordan is currently wearing the U.S. Olympic club uniform.
Both Rentmeester’s photo and Nike’s photo involve a basketball hoop at the right side of their image and so were taken from an identical angle. Jordan’s pose is similar in both photos. But from the Nike photo, Jordan is wearing the black and red of the Chicago Bulls, that he joined in 1984, and also the Chicago skyline may be the backdrop.
Rentmeester appeared foul, contended that the differences between his photo and Nike’s were”modest,” and said that nearly every original element in his photo appeared at Nike’s. Lower courts ruled for Nike.