Michael Jackson…The King Of IP?

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While the King of Pop has passed to his eternal resting place, he leaves behind more than devastated fans, mourning family members, legendary dance moves, and record breaking statistics. With his demise, we have learned that Michael Jackson amassed a substantial intellectual property portfolio, demonstrating a creativity well beyond his musical talents and leaving some to refer to him as an “Intellectual Property Goldmine.”

A little known fact about Jackson, he co-owned a patent for an invention he created that allows dancers to lean forward at a 45 degree angle beyond their center of gravity by wearing specially designed shoes. (U.S. Patent No. 5,255,425, titled “Method and Means For Creating Anti-Gravity”).

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His famous gravity defying “lean” can be seen in the music video for the song Smooth Criminal.

Jackson also registering his name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and owned numerous other trademarks for goods and services ranging from merchandise to fan clubs.

And, of course, let’s not forget about the copyrights. In addition to securing copyrights to his own works, Jackson famously outbid Paul McCartney and purchased rights to the Beatles song-copyright catalog for $47 million dollars in what many claim to be his best business decisions, later selling the rights to Sony for $90 million.

Although often maligned for his lifestyle choices and actions, Jackson’s dedication to creating and protecting his art and talents cannot be denied. Love him or hate him, he leveraged his superstardom (and that of others) into substantial intellectual property assets.

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