Michael Jackson’s estate has reached a settlement with the Heal the World Foundation (HTWF) over use of the late singer’s image and likeness.

The estate sued the charity in 2009, alleging it had misused trademarks to create an association with Jackson’s now defunct charity of the same name.

HTWF said Jackson’s lawyers had given it permission to run the foundation in 2005.

The charity can no longer use the Heal the World name or Jackson’s likeness.

The deal came as a trial was due to begin in a bid to decide ownership of trademarks.

Jackson’s estate had sought to block the use of words and phrases associated with the star, including “King of Pop” and “Thriller”.

The foundation had registered a number of Jackson-related trademarks, applied for a further 41 and sold merchandise using them.

The settlement calls for Jackson’s estate to retain the rights to the Heal the World charity and rights to any trademarks the current foundation held.

Jackson founded Heal the World in 1992 but later abandoned it as he fought child abuse allegations.

HTWF’s current director, Melissa Johnson, claimed one of Jackson’s former lawyers told her the pop star wanted her to run the foundation in 2005.

Jackson’s three children also collaborated with the charity, sitting on its youth board of advisors.

Johnson’s lawyer has so far yet to comment on the settlement.

Source: BBC


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