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.
Michael Jackson's trade mark troubles Michael Jackson's trade mark troubles Reviewed by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. 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.

  2. 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..."?

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


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/p/want-to-complain.html

Powered by Blogger.