Friday, August 10, 2012

Court Rules in Favor of Michael Jackson Estate in Copyright Claims against Howard Mann.

A statement from Howard Weitzman:
Attorney for the Michael Jackson Estate

A Federal Court Judge ruled today that Howard Mann cannot exploit intellectual property created by the late Michael Jackson, including trademarks, copyrights, name, likeness and image.

 The Court found that Mann and his entities improperly claimed to own the assets, and intended in bad faith to profit from them using his various websites. Zia Modabber, one of the lawyers who represents the Estate in this matter states “The Court’s ruling makes clear that Howard Mann had no right to use Michael Jackson’s intellectual property for his own benefit.” The Court ruled that Mann and his entities in fact do not own any of Michael Jackson’s intellectual property and should be permanently enjoined from unlawfully using Michael Jackson’s intellectual property in the future.

Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for the Estate indicated that “The Court’s ruling means that a trial set for September 4, 2012 will involve how much in damages the Michael Jackson Estate is entitled to collect from Mann and his various entities.” The Executors of the Michael Jackson Estate are extremely pleased with the Court’s ruling which prevents Mann from continuing to unlawfully profit from Michael Jackson and his intellectual property.

Court  Document of Judges partial summary compliments of  IVY_MJJC

More :

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that a businessman working with Michael Jackson's mother has violated copyrights owned by the singer's estate and should be blocked from future uses of the work.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson sided with the singer's estate in a ruling against Howard Mann and the website , which appeared to be inactive Friday morning.

The estate sued Mann in January 2011, claiming he was violating copyrights and posed unfair competition to Jackson's estate. Pregerson ruled that the website improperly used art from the film "This Is It," a logo featuring Jackson and the song "Destiny," as well as other material.

"In light of defendants' past and present infringement, it is also undisputed that future violations are likely, causing ongoing harm to plaintiffs and misled consumers," Pregerson wrote.

An upcoming trial will address damages, although the judge noted that Mann and the site probably will not be able to pay any amount because of debts.

A phone message for one of Mann's lawyers, Lee Durst, was not immediately returned Friday. Mann has collaborated with Katherine Jackson, who is a beneficiary of the singer's estate, on several projects, including a book of recollections about her son. Several of the Jackson Secret Vault releases occurred at the same time as estate projects were being released, including the anniversary of Jackson's death and the release of the album "Michael" in December 2010.

Mann's attorneys recently wrote in court filings that they hoped to introduce evidence during the upcoming trial that the singer's will was a fraud. The businessman had claimed he obtained rights to the works in a bankruptcy sale years ago, but Pregerson ruled there was no evidence that the items could be used commercially.

"The court's ruling makes clear that Howard Mann had no right to use Michael Jackson's intellectual property for his own benefit," attorney Zia Modabber, who represented the estate in the case, wrote in a statement. Estate attorney Howard Weitzman said executors John Branca and John McClain are "extremely pleased" by the ruling.
 By ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Associated Press


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