The first 34 pages of the Estate's claim are easy to read so we'll begin with the First Claim for Relief, beginning on page 35. I'll post the Estate's stance first, then Mann's position.
First Claim of Relief
Estate: Estate claims that they own the rights to This Is It, the posthumous Michael Jackson "documentary", including key art and trailers. Estate claims that Howard Mann, as the owner of the website Jacksonsecretvault.com, has willfully infringed on the Estate's sole right to this property, intellectual or otherwise. Note: if you click on the link to Mann's website, there are, at this point, no pictures of This Is It on the front page. Estate claims that at one point, This Is It images were posted at the site.
Mann: Mann's attorneys state that the Estate violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, because they did not send a cease and desist letter warning Mann of the copyright infringement before filing a lawsuit. However, page 9 of the Estate's court doc states that a cease and desist letter was sent to Mann on December 8, 2010. The Estate filed the lawsuit on January 20,2011. If the Estate claims this, then they most certainly have a copy of the cease and desist letter.
Score: Estate 1 Mann 0
Second Claim for Relief
Estate: The Estate claims that Sony owns the sole rights to the song "Destiny" by the Jacksons, originally released on December 17, 1978. Page 11 states that "Sony has assigned to the Estate to bring any and all copyright claims relating to (Mann's) unauthorized use of the song 'Destiny." Estate claims Mann knowingly released the sony Destiny remixed as an unreleased song called "Opis None".
Mann: Mann's attorneys state that this claim for relief falls under the "with prejudice" ruling that Vaccaro (original owner of Vintage Pop Media) obtained from a court when Michael Jackson did not pursue any more action. The court ruled "with prejudice", meaning that the same person can never sue the same person again for the same reason. Mann also states that the cease and desist letter was sent too late. (Estate claims cease and desist letter was sent 12/8/10.)
Here is a copy of Mann's public apology for releasing the now infamous "song" Opis None, releasing liability of Katherine Jackson. Mann also took the song down a day or two after, however the song was place right next to the book he and Katherine were selling, Never Can Say Goodbye. The point of this is this: Mann does not own the rights to a Jackson song, pure and simple.
Score: Estate 2 Mann 0
Third Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate claims copyright infringement for use of Thriller song and video, as well as liner notes for Thriller 25. Estate claims Mann used Thriller/Thriller 25 song, video and liner notes on the website as well as in the "Book" (Never Can Say Goodbye).
Mann: Mann claims that a "viewer" of the website uploaded the video of Thriller, therefore he is not responsible for uploaded content. Also uses the cease/desist letter too late defense. Mann also claims that the content has been removed from his website. (However, when I took a look at the site today, the Thriller video was still there and it said Source: YouTube.)
Score: Estate 3 Mann 0
Fourth Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate claims that the "Book" (Never Can Say Goodbye) contains drawings done by Michael Jackson. "Bubbles Chair", "Key III", "Happy Gate", "Boy" and "We the People" are named as "The Drawings." Estate maintains that they are the sole owner of "The Drawings".
Mann: Mann claims that he has a letter from the co-owner of Michael Jackson's drawings, Brett Livingstone Strong. Mann attaches a copy of the letter from Strong to his deposition. Note: Michael did in fact work with Strong, forming the Jackson-Strong Alliance in 1992. However, Mann states that Strong is the "co-owner" for Michael's drawings, therefore I would assume the other co-owner is the Estate. Mann legally cannot use any intellectual property without the consider of BOTH the owners of the drawings. Below is a picture of Michael and Strong taken in 1992.
Score: Estate 4 Mann 0
Fifth Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate claims that the logo for VPM contains Michael Jackson's likeness and his famous Smooth Criminal "lean". Estate maintains that they sent a cease and desist letter to VPM (Mann) which was ignored. In the Estate filing, you can clearly see that the "V" of VPM uses Michael's name and his signature "lean" move from Smooth Criminal.
Mann: Mann first uses the "with prejudice" ruling. Mann then states that this "lean" move was used by other entertainers other than Jackson, and that the "lean" move did not belong solely to Jackson. Mann also claims that the "lean" move was used in the movie Step Up 2. Mann then goes on to state that even if the Estate "could" prove that Michael once owned the move, that the "with prejudice" ruling bars the Estate from suing him.
Sidenote: Michael Jackson, Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins patented the famous shoes that allowed for the Smooth Criminal lean in 1993. Now granted, the shoes are patented and not the dance move. However, the logo for VPM clearly represents Michael Jackson, which is a violation of the intellectual property rights that the Estate own.
Score: Estate 5 Mann 0
Estate: Estate claims that the book Never Can Say Goodbye has a remark on the inside liner notes that says "Special thanks....to the Estate of Michael Jackson." Estate this confuses the public into thinking that the Estate either endorsed or facilitated with the book.
Mann: Mann claims that Katherine is the one who was saying thank you to the Estate. If Katherine were to testify in court that indeed, she was thanking the Estate, Mann could win this point. If not, then Mann deliberately tried to confuse the public.
Seventh Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate maintains that several domain names that Mann/VPM own are deliberately set to confuse the public into believing that the Estate is actively involved in these websites. Because these websites have merchandise for sale on them, and the Estate has no control over it, Estate claims cybersquatting on the domain names/websites.
Mann: Mann claims the "with prejudice" ruling bars the Estate from filing this claim. (Again, Mann doesn't own intellectual property, so ruling goes to the Estate.)
Score: Estate 6 Mann 0
Eighth Claim for Relief
Estate: Basically same as Seventh Claim, but asking for restitution for the revenue made from these websites/domains.
Mann: Mann claims the "with prejudice" ruling bars the Estate from filing this claim.
Score: Estate 7 Mann 0
Ninth Claim for Relief
Estate: Reiterates both Seventh and Eighth claim, as well as involves the (fake) Heal the World Foundation. Claim states Mann "attempted to trade on Jackson's fame by advertising that "part of the proceeds of sales [of the purported Jackson Secret Vault Lithographic Collection] go to Heal the World Foundation. Such promotion was intentionally designed to raise money by trading off Michael Jackson's well-known, but former, association with Heal the World Foundation."
Mann: (Broken record...) Mann claims that the "with prejudice" ruling bars the Estate from filing this claim. (Can you believe that??)
Score: Estate 8 Mann 0
Tenth Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate claims that Mann may have acquired master recordings that he may have a sole or co-ownership to. However, Mann still does not have the intellectual property rights to the masters. He cannot reproduce, copy or distribute them because the Estate owns the intellectual property rights.
Mann: Uses "with prejudice" ruling as his (sham of a) defense.
Score: Estate 9 Mann 0
Eleventh Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate claims that Mann/VPM have violated the California Business and Professions Code which states that "unfair competition shall mean and include any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business or practice and unfair, deceptive and untrue or misleading advertising..."
Mann: (Wanna guess what his defense is? That's right!) Uses "with prejudice as his (sham of a) defense.
Score: Estate 10 Mann 0
Twelfth Claim for Relief
Estate: Estate is asking for a portion of the profits that Mann has made from Mann's revenues made from the likeness/image etc of Michael Jackson.
Mann: With prejudice ruling for his shame, er I mean sham of a defense.Score: Estate 11 Mann 0
Howard Mann doesn't have a legal leg to stand on if he continues this sham of a defense. Both Mann and Melissa Johnson of the fake Heal the World Foundation will owe millions to the Estate by the time these attorneys are done with them. Johnson better hope the IRS/Tax Franchise Board don't come after her for fraud, and I have a feeling that Howard Mann should be looking over his legal shoulder as well.