ESPN reports that shoe maker Nike has been sued for copyright infringement over the company’s famous “Jumpman” logo of Michael Jordan’s airborne silhouette. The plaintiff, photographer Jacobus Rentmeester, brought the suit in federal court in the District of Oregon, and alleges that the Jumpman logo was unlawfully copied from a photograph of Jordan that he took in 1984 at the University of North Carolina. Rentmeester later licensed the photograph to Nike, but the photographer claims that Nike exceeded the scope of the license by using the image to create the now ubiquitous Jumpman logo. Since Nike’s adoption of the Jumpman logo as a trademark nearly thirty years ago, basketball shoes bearing the logo have been market leaders, and, according to the complaint, have generated “billions of dollars in profits without compensating Mr. Rentmeester.” Rentmeester seeks monetary damages as well as the aforesaid “billions of dollars in profits” made by Nike that are found to be attributable to the alleged infringement. Read the ESPN article here, and Rentmeester’s complaint here.
Reposted from ESPN.