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Michael Jackson’s Hologram Billboard Music Performance, the Show that Almost Wasn’t

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Trademark, Copyright, & Business Development Solutions2King-of-Dancing

Everyone is talking about Michael Jackson’s Billboard Music Award Performance from last night. Although the iconic performer is deceased that didn’t prevent him from dancing and moonwalking across our screens and giving the performance of his “life”. We can thank Judge Dawson from the United States District Court of Nevada for being able to witness the epic performance.

On May 15, 2014, Delaware Corporation, Hologram USA, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s estate, Dick Clark Production (producer of the Billboard Music Awards) and others alleging that the scheduled holographic performance infringed on its existing “patent system that projects three-dimensional images that virtually indistinguishable from real-life bodies.” Hologram USA, Inc. filed an Ex Parte motion for an Emergency temporary restraining order the next day to prevent “irreparable harm” from the allegedly infringing conduct.
By law a preliminary injunction may be issued if a plaintiff establishes:
(1) likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief;
(3) that the balance of equities tips in his favor; and
(4) that an injunction is in the public interest.
Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). “Injunctive relief [is] an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Id. at 22.
The Nevada Court found that Hologram USA, Inc. failed to provide enough information regarding the mechanics of how the hologram performance works so that the court could compare the system to Hologram’s patent system to determine whether there was in fact an infringement. Without this information the Court could not find that Hologram USA would likely succeed on the merits of its claim against Michael Jackson’s estate and other parties thus it denied Hologram USA, Inc., request for an emergency temporary restraining order. For allowing all to witness Michael Jackson perform his new song “Love Never Felt So Good” we say thank you Judge Dawson.
– Connie Murray

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