Judge Finds Michael Jackson Copyrights Were Violated
A Federal Court judge issued a ruling Friday cutting off an associate of Michael Jackson's mother from skimming unauthorized benefits from the late King of Pop's intellectual properties and likeness, RadarOnline.com has reported.
Howard Mann, who has had a prior business relationship with Katherine Jackson, was found to exploited Michael's copyrights, likeness, trademarks and image without his estate's consent. The ruling resolves a 2011 lawsuit filed by the estate claiming that any benefits Mann received are owed to Katherine and Michael's three children, Paris, Blanket and Prince.
The ruling doesn't end the case entirely, but now pushes it to a punitive stage. In the meantime, it does mean that Mann won't be collecting any further revenue. He'd previously falsely claimed to be the assets' rightful owner.
"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," said Jackson attorney Howard Weitzman.
Mann founded the Naked Women's Wrestling League, but is more recently notorious for releasing the book Never Can Say Good Goodbye: The Katherine Jackson Archives with Michael's mother. He's additionally operated the related JacksonSecretVault.com, but estate executors slapped him with a 2010 cease-and-desist order stopping his use of Michael's image for an unauthorized lithograph collection.
He's also previously been sued by Carmen Electra for nearly $400,000 that Mann failed to pay the actress and former Playboy centerfold for several Nake Women's Wrestling League appearances.
Amid all of this, Katherine remains embroiled at the center of a legal battle in which Michael's siblings Randy, Tito, Janet, Rebbie and Jermaine have claimed their brother's will is fraudulent and Katherine's health is too poor to care for Prince, Blanket and Paris.