Apparently the Jackson estate are busily trying to crack down on the booming industry in fake Jacko memorabilia.
They're trying to stop fans being ripped off by items purporting to be Jackson-related but where the face on the items just looks like a poor-quality reproduction. Things like t-shirts, mugs, and Michael Jackson for the last ten years of his life are given as examples of this shoddy work.
Five entities with no obvious link to the Jackson family have tried to trademark the phrase "King of Pop" on everything from drink umbrellas to juggling balls since the day he died.
Michael Jackson juggling balls? There's a headline the Weekly World News would have loved to have got.
But the family have no right to the title anyway:
Complicating matters is that the phrase "King of Pop" was not actually registered to the singer, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which has some of his applications on display in a free exhibit in Washington.
He registered "Michael Jackson" as a trademark, the office said, but only on sound recordings, videotapes and movies involving music and entertainment. Jackson owned a patent on a shoe that allowed the wearer to lean past his center of gravity, as he did in the "Smooth Criminal" video, but it expired in 2005 because he didn't pay a $2,480 maintenance fee.
They gave him a patent on an orthopaedic dance shoe? Really? It's hard to see how the owner of such a patent died in so much debt. Pity he never pitched the shoes in the Dragon's Den - a nice bit of banter with Duncan; get Theo to muck about in the shoes; he'd have been quids in. The road not travelled, isn't it?