New York Photographer Suing Nike for Lifting ‘Jumpman’ Logo

The ‘Jumpman’ stands alongside the Swoosh or the Apple as one of the most recognizable pop culture icons ever created. While many attribute the logo to ingenuity on the parts of Tinker Hatfield, Nike, and Jordan himself, a recently-publicized lawsuit from New York-based photographer Jacobus Rentmeester posits otherwise. According to a new article by The Oregonian, Rentmeester claims that Nike knowingly lifted the logo’s silhouette from a photograph he took back in 1984 during Jordan’s rookie season, and is suing for an unspecified amount. While Rentmeester was indeed compensated for the use of his photo – $15,000 USD in 1985 for this image of MJ soaring over the Chicago skyline in that signature extended pose – the plaintiff maintains that Nike’s creation of the Jumpman logo goes against their original agreement. Perhaps Rentmeester did drag his, erm, "Breds" in this instance – he didn’t register his photo with the U.S. Copyright Office until December 2014 – but nonetheless this motion does create a kind of ‘David & Goliath’ story. Check out all of the details in The Oregonian’s report here, and stay tuned to our pages for updates on this case.

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