After a two-year legal battle, Nike has won the copyright case against photographer Jacobus Rentmeester, who had accused the brand stealing his photo Michael Jordan and using it as the iconic Jumpman logo.
The image Rentmeester captured showed Jordan going up for a dunk with the Chicago Skyline serving as a backdrop. Rentmeester was reportedly paid $15,000 for the photo back in ’85, but he claimed Nike’s use a similar photo as the face the Jordan Brand line violated their original agreement.
According to Reuters, in a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court Appeals said Rentmeester did not show that Nike misappropriated his 1984 photo MJ, which had been used in a Life magazine feature on that year’s Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Circuit Judge Paul Watford wrote that while both photos “capture Michael Jordan in a leaping pose inspired by ballet’s grand jeté,” they were not “substantially similar” because differences in setting, lighting and other elements, according to Reuters.
The decision upheld a June 2015 ruling by now-Chief Judge Michael Mosman the federal district court in Portland, Oregon, according to Reuters.