SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court says an iconic Nike logo of a leaping Michael Jordan didn't violate the copyright of an earlier photograph of the basketball star.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that the logo was based on a photograph of Jordan by Nike that was inspired by a 1984 photo by Jacobus Rentmeester.
They both show Jordan leaping with his legs extended outward toward a basketball hoop with a ball above his head. But the court says the photos are unmistakably different in key elements.
Nike used its photo for the "Jumpman" logo — a silhouetted image of Jordan in the pose that the company has used to market billions of dollars of merchandise.
An email to a law firm representing Rentmeester wasn't immediately returned.