Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Jackson estate sue the Heal The World Foundation

By | Published on Wednesday 30 September 2009

Michael Jackson’s estate is suing the rather odd Heal The World Foundation, claiming they are improperly using the late king of pop’s trademarks in a bid to convince possible donators that the charity is affiliated to or was supported by Jacko.

It’s confusing, of course, because Jackson did indeed form a Heal The World Foundation in 1992 after the release of the rather tedious song of the same name (well, the song was called ‘Heal The World’ not ‘Heal The World Foundation’). But that charity was dissolved ten years later, while the latest incarnation of it was only launched last year.

On its website the Foundation is vague about its links to MJ, though they talk about the charity being inspired by his ‘Heal The World’ endeavours, and carry blog entries reporting on recent Jackson news stories. The Jacko estate argues that the organisation is trying its best to imply an official Jackson affiliation, adding that the body has applied for trademarks over certain key words associated with the late singer, including ‘Thriller’, ‘Neverland’ and ‘King Of Pop’.

The executors of the Jacko estate – John Branca and John McClain – who have court approval to protect and monetise the Michael Jackson brand, have filed legal papers against the Foundation, claiming it has never had any affiliation with the late singer or any of the Jackson clan. According to Billboard, the lawsuit alleges: “The defendants’ acts of infringement and unfair competition have been committed with the intent to cause confusion, mistake and to deceive”.