Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Michael Jackson’s Estate Sues Heal the World Foundation


We reported earlier this summer about the King of Pop’s remarkable contribution to the health and well being of children and the needy through a lifetime of charity work. In 1992, Jackson founded The Heal the World Foundation, which lost its tax-exempt status in 2002, to help the world’s most vulnerable populations. A legal battle has now arisen between Jackson’s estate and a charity incorporated in 2008 under the same name, The Heal the World Foundation.

CBS first broke the news that the new charity doing business as The Heal the World Foundation had no relationship to Michael Jackson, yet it featured prominent references to Jackson and his involvement with the original organization. Donors wishing to support Jackson’s philanthropic work after his sudden death in June would likely have been misled by the suggested ties. Now, attorneys for the Jackson estate have filed a suit against two California charities, The Heal the World Foundation and United Fleet, an affiliated corporation. The suit alleges that the charities are wrongly using Jackson’s name and catchphrases to solicit donations by appearing to be related to the King of Pop. According to Reuters, the two entities have registered six Jackson-related trademarks, and have applications pending on 41 additional ones. The suit claims trademark infringement and unfair competition among other violations.

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