For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Michael Jackson's trade mark troubles

The IPKat was interested to read an Associated Press piece about the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death in IP terms. His passing, in common with that of other celebrities who have died young (such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe) has spawned a huge demand for memorabilia, which often isn't licensed. The Jackson estate has said that it will take action against unauthorised sellers, noting:

"The sale of unauthorized Michael Jackson merchandise is illegal and provides nothing for the beneficiaries of his estate, namely his mother, his children and charitable causes that were important to him".
A new phenomenon, though, is that the death has resulted in a huge increase in illegal file sharing of Jackson's songs, as well as of legitimate sales.

Matters are complicated by the fact that Jackson did not register the term THE KING OF POP and only registered the term MICHAEL JACKSON for sound recordings, videotapes and films involving music and entertainment.

The IPKat notes that the same old problems keep coming up with merchandising. How many people would really believe or care whether Jackson or his estate authorised the sale of t-shirt purchased in a spontaneous outpouring of grief? Being cyncial, the Kat also suspects that it would be worth the estate's while to let at least some of this slide in the immediate aftermath, not least because it will cement the (merchandisable) personality cult.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The vultures descend! Two multiclass Community trade mark applications have been filed, one in June and one in July, for registration of MICHAEL JACKSON. Neither applicant seems to be associated with the estate of the late performer. There is no extant UK or OHIM registration for the name.

Anonymous said...

We are already up to 4 CTM applications and one UK application pending on the databases - it doesn't take long, does it?

There are actually two extant MICHAEL JACKSON registrations in the UK, 1507006 and 1507007, but they are in Classes 9 and 41, where they belong

PS Am I a bad person for being amused at the standard Class 3 wording in some of the specifications beginning: "Bleaching preparations..."?

Chris said...

Unbelivable, personally I think that they should be publically shamed!

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