Stuffed: Photographer’s Claim Against Nike Dismissed

Oregon District Judge Michael W. Mosman issued a ruling on Tuesday dismissing a lawsuit alleging that Nike Inc.’s “Jumpman” logo was an improper reproduction of a picture taken of Michael Jordan by the plaintiff photographer in 1984.

The judge wrote:

“[a]lthough at first glance there are certainly similarities between the two expressions of the pose, a closer examination reveals several material differences … In the context of thin or very close to thin copyright protection, these differences lead me to find that the poses are not substantially similar because they are not virtually identical.”

Plaintiff Jacobus Rentmeester was seeking profits associated with sales of Jordan brand-related goods which, in 2014, totaled approximately $3.2 billion. He also sought to halt both sales of the brand’s products and plans for the future of the Jordan brand.

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