July 1, 2009

Jackson held patent on special shoes

The late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, held a patent for special shoes used while performing his 1988 song Smooth Criminal, an attorney says.

The shoes allowed him to lean forward past his center of gravity while onstage, creating the illusion of being free from gravity, and are among an array of intellectual property held by the superstar who died last week at 50, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Most people think of Michael Jackson's intellectual property in terms of his songs and the Beatles catalog. They usually don't know about his other endeavors, patent lawyer Milord Keshishian of Milord & Associates in Los Angeles told the newspaper. A lot of entertainers with business savvy try to protect what they invent.

The 1993 U.S. patent, No. 5,255,452, is for a system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes.

The system involved special slots in the shoes' heels that hooked into retractable pegs on the stage, allowing wearers to lean dramatically forward without falling over, USA Today said.