The ninth circuit appeals court in Oregon issued an opinion on Tuesday that concluded that the logo "was not substantially similar to Rentmeester’s photo."
In 1984, Nike paid Rentmeester $150 for temporary rights to use photos of Michael Jordan that he shot for Life magazine. He claimed that it was the basis for the photo shot by Nike a year later which eventually led to the now-ubiquitous Jumpman logo which debuted on the Air Jordan 3.
Law360's Bill Donahue provided the crucial statement in the ninth circuit appeals court's opinion:
Here's the key quote: pic.twitter.com/tachU1SBhN— Bill Donahue (@Bill__Donahue) February 27, 2018
The full ruling can be read here.
UPDATE (03/25): ESPN has reported that the Supreme Court has passed on a copyright dispute between photographer Jacobus Rentmeester and Nike regarding the iconic Jordan Jumpman logo. Rentmeester alleged that a photo he took of Michael Jordan in 1984 inspired the logo and he was seeking a portion of Jordan Brand sales. The Supreme Court's decision to pass on the case means that the previous ruling in lower court, which favored Nike, will stand.