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Michael Jackson estate objects to to sell popcorn

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

At our law firm, we advocate for our clients who may be on either side of lawsuits over domain name ownership as well as those concerning cybersquatting. These legal proceedings, which often involve trademark infringement, are disputes about rightful ownership and use of domain names.

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to have the domain name transferred to the rightful owner, to get an injunction in which the court orders an entity wrongfully using a domain name, to get an award of money damages or reimbursement of legal fees.

King of popcorn?

Domain Name Wire is reporting that the parties to a dispute involving the estate of deceased entertainer Michael Jackson and a popcorn company confidentially settled a lawsuit two years ago and that the defendant, Gourmet Gift Baskets, has now transferred the disputed domain name to the estate.

TMZ said at the time the suit was filed that the popcorn company had acquired the URL from a Michael Jackson fan website in 2012. The defendant reportedly asserted that "pop" is another word for "popcorn products." According to TMZ, the complaint asked the court to order the defendant to remove the website as well as for money damages, but the estate apparently was comfortable with the site remaining live so long as the defendant transferred the domain name to the plaintiff.

The Domain Name Wire article says that it is likely that the settlement provided for a two-year transition period so that the defendant could "transition its use of the domain." currently redirects users to and the defendant is using

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