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Jackson estate sues Heal the World

September 29, 2009 |  6:33 pm


Michael Jackson’s estate filed a suit in federal court against Heal the World Foundation Tuesday accusing the organization of cybersquatting, trademark infringement and using the superstar’s name and likeness without permission in a bid to trick fans into thinking they are making donations to a Jackson-sanctioned cause. 

According to the suit filed in Los Angeles by special administrators for the Jackson estate John McClain and John Branca, the defendants have registered for six trademarks and applied for 41additional ones. Those applications, the suit alleges, “uniquely and unmistakably point to Mr. Jackson and his persona” and are intended “to cause confusion, mistake and to deceive.”

Jackson established his own Heal the World Foundation in 1992, naming it after his iconic hit song “Heal the World.” But that charitable organization has no relation to the defendants and ceased to function before the entertainer’s death. The suit alleges that Heal the World cybersquatted by establishing such deliberately misleading domain names as “mjaid.net,” “mjquotes.net” and “healtheworldfoundation.net.”

-- Chris Lee

Photo credit: Associated Press