"From the Estate of Michael Jackson: Press reports on TMZ and other media sites regarding the settlement terms between the Michael Jackson Estate and the Heal the World (Foundation) defendants are wrong. The Estate is taking back the Heal the World Foundation and all of the trademarks it allegedly owned. The Michael Jackson Estate owns the Heal the World name, and neither Melissa Johnson nor her companies will ever be able to use Michael Jackson's name or the Heal the World name. "
Other reports came from the AP, stating that the rest of the terms of the settlement were confidential. With the news that Melissa Johnson could possibly sit on the board of directors for the newly formed HTWF, came an intense wave of anger and sadness. Why? Why would the Estate settle when clearly, this was a slam dunk in favor of the Estate? How did this happen?
Is this NOT the same Melissa Johnson that the Estate has been legally wrangling with for the past 18 months? Is this not, by her very own admission, the woman who stated that Michael Jackson made her the director of Heal the World Foundation in 2005, yet did not revive it until AFTER Jackson died?
Is this NOT the same Melissa Johnson, who claims Brian Oxman would testify under oath that Michael Jackson consented to her being the director of HTWF in 2005? The prosecution surely had a difficult time getting his subpoena served, and in addition asked the Estate to pay him $500 to search for responsive documents. (To be fair, Oxman finally did submit a deposition, in which he stated that Michael Jackson approved of Johnson being the director of HTWF, but had NO written documentation. Are we honestly to believe that Michael Jackson handed his charity that is synonymous with his name on a global scale, over to a virtual unknown, WITHOUT A WRITTEN CONTRACT?)
And is this the very same Melissa Johnson, who Branca stated under oath that he nor John McClain would "ever want (or ever allow) to 'represent' Mr. Jackson's charitable legacy in any way"?
Although the Estate did not confirm Johnson would be sitting on the board of the newly formed Heal the World, they did not DENY it either. And as I was still shaking with fury, the voice of reason hits Twitter with an analysis of the settlement written by Ivy from MJJC.
Ivy: Out of the original complaint, the Estate won 6 out of 7 complaints.
Justice: A few things to add.
#1, on count #1, illegal use of the name Michael Jackson, Melissa Johnson filed for that trademark on July 2, 2009, (a week after Michael died), only furthering my disgust for her. While most were truly grieving, Johnson was buying domains.
#2 on count #7, cybersquatting. We have to go back to count #6, cancellation of registered trademarks, (MJ) a false suggestion of connection. Ivy is correct that the domain names are not named. However, if we go back to 2003, when Melissa Johnson SOLD her domains to MJJ Productions, attached to the original agreement is a list of domains she owned/sold back. Here is a screen shot of the first page:
This is just the first page of seven. On those seven pages, I counted no less than 384 domains that Melissa Johnson owned that contained "MJ". It's safe to assume that in 2011 Johnson had hundreds of domains that now, the Estate owns.
Ivy: Estate wins on supplemental complaints. Most importantly, Judge Dolly Gee's statement on the domain Heal the World Foundation in the injunction, leans toward a judgement in FAVOR of Melissa Johnson.
This fact is what I MISSED, yet Ivy realized. That Judge Dolly Gee would have ruled for the Estate on everything, EXCEPT that Johnson could still use the trademark Heal the World Foundation.
Where would that have left the Estate? Sure, they would have gotten all the trademarks back, except for Heal the World Foundation. Yet, this would have meant that Johnson could have continued using her website, without the direction of a seasoned attorney and his team.
With that in mind, do I really care if Melissa Johnson is sitting on the board of Heal the World Foundation, under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of John Branca? (I actually find it hilarious and wholly ironic, but I will reserve comment.) Do I care that it's more than likely that Johnson has absolutely no authority in the new and improved Heal the World Foundation? In the scheme of things, no I really don't care. Johnson is insignificant.
My thoughts moved to what MICHAEL would have wanted. In his trust, he designated John Branca, John McClain and Katherine Jackson to find the charities that would receive 20% of his trust. Would Michael have wanted Branca, McClain and his mother to revive Heal the World Foundation, synonymous with his name, and working with his children to heal the world and make it a better place? I believe he would.
We have been tweeting #RespectMJsWishes, and by standing behind the Estate and Katherine Jackson (who we FULLY support), to help revive Heal the World Foundation, to make the world a better place, we truly are respecting Michael Jackson's final wishes. For you and for me and the entire human race.
Lessons learned? First, listen to level headed people like Ivy. Second, if I ever decide to trademark TEAMBRANCA, remember to NOT let it expire. :)